KOLKATA: Prize money at next year’s World Cup finals has been increased by 12pc writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The 32 teams at the tournament in Russia will share $400m, based on matches played and progress achieved. This is an increase of 12pc on the $348m paid out by the world football federation in Brazil in 2014.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailed the increase as “a positive sign in terms of the financial situation of FIFA.”

Infantino ascribed this partly to an improvement in the perception of FIFA’s image after the reforms of the past two years following the cataclysmic impact of the FIFAGate corruption investigation undertaken by the United States Department of Justice.

Asked about the jail sentenced imposed in New York on former Guatemala FA boss Hector Trujillo, he said: “I have thanked all the authorities who have uncovered certain malpractices in football.

“As far as FIFA is concerned these things cannot happen any more. We have put in places systems to ensure everything we do is in line with all the requirements that need to be fulfilled so we work for the future.”

A positive sign of improvement was evident from the commercial sector.

Infantino said: “Two years ago FIFA could not even speak to any broadcaster or sponsor because it was consider a toxic mark. Today the doors are open and we will exceed the budget in terms of revenues and we are much more transparent on issues of costs to show where these revenues are going.”

Other FIFA decisions . . .

** A new, independent body, in effect sidelining the controversy-hit Brazilian confederation, is to deliver the legacy programme promised at the 2014 World Cup but withheld over corruption concerns.

** Bidding regulations for the 2026 World Cup have been redrawn by FIFA to try to ensure, in the words of president Gianni Infantino, that the process “is absolutely bullet-proof concerning compliance and good governance.”

** FIFA is to catch up with public and media opinion by formally recognising as world champions all winning clubs from the early years of the former Intercontinental Club Cup from 1960 to 2004.

** A dedicated FIFA Foundation is being set up to operate the federation’s charitable projects and liaison work.

** Tournament dates approved by FIFA as follows:

U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018: August 5-24, 2018;

U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018: Nov 13 to Dec 1, 2018;

Club World Cup UAE 2018: Dec 12-22, 2018;

Women’s World Cup France 2019: June 7 to July 7, 2019.