FIFA set to pay clubs record £290m for sending their players to the World Cup in 2026 with huge 75 per cent rise from Qatar when Man City profited the most… as the tournament expands to 48 teams and 104 games
- World Cup in United States, Canada and Mexico will be the largest ever seen
- Club Benefits Programme pot is set to rise from $209m to $355m as a result
- The money compensates clubs for releasing their players for the tournament
FIFA will pay clubs $355million [£290m] for releasing players for the 2026 World Cup – an enormous 75 per cent increase from Qatar last year.
Under the Club Benefits Programme, introduced at the 2010 South Africa World Cup, FIFA compensates clubs around the world for each day their players are away at the tournament.
Manchester City profited most of any club from the 2022 World Cup, receiving £4.5m of the £169m [$209m] pot FIFA distributed.
But those sums are set to skyrocket after FIFA and the European Club Association [ECA] renewed their Memorandum of Understanding through until December 31, 2030 at a summit in Budapest.
With the World Cup set to expand from 32 to 48 nations – and from 64 to 104 matches – from the 2026 tournament jointly hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, the compensation pot has risen accordingly.
Lionel Messi and Argentina lift the World Cup in Qatar – the amount of compensation paid by FIFA to clubs for releasing their players for the tournament will skyrocket in 2026
Manchester City received around £4.5m from the scheme in Qatar, with their forward Julian Alvarez in the victorious Argentina team
The £290m Club Benefits pot will also apply to the 2030 World Cup.
A FIFA statement released on Monday afternoon read: ‘The Club Benefits Programme, which compensates all clubs who release players for the men’s World Cup, will now increase from $209 million for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup to $355 million for the 2026 and 2030 tournaments.’
On the new agreement with the ECA, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: ‘This is a significant day for the future of football and its long-term stability. We are very happy to renew and strengthen our cooperation agreement with ECA, an important stakeholder representing clubs from all over Europe.’
It came as the ECA confirmed their backing for FIFA’s expanded 32-team, quadrennial Club World Cup which is due to launch in 2025.
Sportsmail reported during the World Cup in December that City would receive around £4.5m from FIFA under its Club Benefits Programme, which paid out $10,000 [£8,120 at the time] for each day each player is at the World Cup – including the week-long official preparation period beforehand.
Although the next World Cup will revert to June and July as opposed to the unconventional November/December slot in Qatar, clubs are set to receive higher levels of compensation.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino welcomed the new agreement with the ECA in Budapest
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, heads the European Club Association
The Premier League champions had a total of 16 players representing nine different countries in Qatar, with Argentina’s Julian Alvarez lifting the trophy.
Other City players including Jack Grealish of England, Ederson of Brazil and Bernardo Silva of Portugal enjoyed runs to the quarter-finals, boosting the total.
Barcelona received around £3.32m under the scheme, Manchester United £2.92m and Chelsea £2.46m.
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