AFC Women's Asian Cup, one of the colossal events in women's football, for the past 47 years was held without offering the contesting teams any prize money.
On January 20, top Asian teams will be competing for the 2022 Women's Asian Cup title in India, where for the very first time the winning team will also be receiving prize money besides the cup. The news was confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to the ABC.
Talking to ABC, an AFC spokesperson confirmed, "In line with the AFC's mission to raise the standard of its competitions, the champion of the AFC Women's Asian Cup will receive a prize purse of $1 million, while the runners-up and losing semi-finalists will earn $500,000 and $150,000 respectively."
From FIFA World Cup to the Asian Cup, gender inequalities are evident among the pay gap for the men's and women's teams. During the 2019 Men's Asian Cup, the winning team received $5m and the runners-up got $3m. Whereas the rest of the teams received $200,000 just for participating in the tournament.
Meanwhile, the women's teams who never received any prize money at all in the past years, this year only the top four teams will receive the money.
Nevertheless, it is a step towards the development of women's football in Asia. There are many such aspects like these in women's football that federations should improve.
Earlier it a senior official had confirmed that The Maharashtra government invested Rs 30 crore on upgrading infrastructure to host the AFC Women's Asian Cup in Mumbai and Pune.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) President and LOC chairman Praful Patel had said, "All facilities to be used for the prestigious AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022™ is ready. Special care has been taken to make sure the best women footballers in Asia are provided with world-class infrastructure across the three venues and also the training sites."
"The pitches at all venues have been significantly upgraded to support modern football. Other facilities including dressing rooms, media tribunes, broadcast compounds and hospitality areas have been refurbished. In Pune, new floodlights with LED panels have been installed. And now, we cannot wait for the teams to come to India and play their best game."
It is incredible to see such significant changes in women's football which is growing in Asia.
The 2022 AFC Women's Asia Cup will be played in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune from January 20. The first match of the tournament will be China PR vs Chinese Taipei.