History-makers Morocco are on the verge of cementing their place on world’s biggest stage later Wednesday, December 14, should they beat France to qualify for the World Cup final in Qatar.
Morocco has already smashed the records previously held by Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana for being the only African countries to have reached the quarter-final stage of the elite football tournament.
On its path to the semi-final, Morocco shocked football giants, eliminating decorated teams such as Spain (Round of 16) and Portugal (quarter-final). Prior to that, the team beat Belgium and drew with fellow semi-finalists Croatia in Group F matches.
Croatia has already bowed out of the tournament after losing 3-0 against a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina on Tuesday, December 13.
At 10pm East Africa Time (EAT) on Wednesday, December 14, Morocco will enter the pitch to face off against two-time world champions, France, in what promises to be a thrilling football match pitting big stage experience (France) against a resolute defence that has only shipped a solitary goal in more than 480 minutes played in the 2022 World Cup tournament.
Will the Atlas Lions deliver and inflict what would be a memorable harm on the French national team that has an embarrassment of riches in all positions of a football formation?
Even if Morocco exits at this stage, they’d have made Africa proud, and the Arab world ecstatic. History unfolded right before our eyes.
Already, Morocco has bagged at least Sh3.3 billion ($26.5 million) for reaching the last four stage of the tournament.
According to AS, the team that places fourth in the tournament walks home with Sh3.1 billion ($25 million) on top of the uniform Sh184 million ($1.5 million) awarded to individual countries that have qualified for the World Cup.
The $1.5 million (Sh184 million) is given to countries in advance.
If Morocco is beaten by France, then it would play against Croatia in third-place contest. If Morocco beat Croatia, and bags bronze medal in the tournament, then its earnings would increase to Sh3.5 billion ($28.5 million); $27 million (Sh3.3 billion) for securing third-place spot and $1.5 million (Sh184 million) for qualifying for the World Cup.
If Morocco beat France and qualify for the World Cup final, then the team would get either Sh3.9 billion ($31.5 million) for first runner-up position or Sh5.3 billion ($43.5 million) for winning the tournament.
The $31.5 million (Sh3.9 billion) first runner-up cash prize is arrived at by adding the qualification award of $1.5 million (Sh184 million) to the finalist award of $30.0 million (Sh3.7 billion).
The $43.5 million (Sh5.3 billion) winner’s cash prize is arrived at by adding the qualification award of $1.5 million (Sh184 million) to the finalist award of $42.0 million (Sh5.2 billion).
France, by virtue of qualifying for the World Cup final, is already sure of at least Sh3.9 billion cash prize for the first runner-up position.
According to FIFA, countries that exited in the quarter-final stage of the tournament went home with $18.5 million (Sh2.3 billion) each – $1.5 million (Sh184 million) for qualifying for World Cup and $17 million (Sh2.1 billion) for reaching the last eight stage. These nations are Portugal, Brazil, Netherlands and England.
The countries that exited in the last 16 went home with Sh1.8 billion ($14.5 million) each – Sh1.6 billion ($13 million) for reaching the last 16 and $1.5 million (Sh184 million) for qualifying for World Cup. The countries are USA, Poland, Australia, Senegal, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
Countries that exited in the group stages took home Sh1.3 billion ($10.5 million) each – Sh1.1 billion ($9 million) for group stage participation and Sh184 million (Sh1.5 million) for qualifying for the World Cup.
The countries that left the tournament in the group stage are Ecuador, Qatar (hosts), Iran, Wales, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Denmark, Costa Rica, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Cameroon, Serbia, Uruguay and Ghana.
When France won the tournament against Croatia in 2018, the cash prize for the finals victory was $4 million (Sh490 million) less than what has been set aside for the 2022 would-be winners.
The total amount of prize money has been on a gradual increase.
South Africa 2010 winners (Spain) received $30 million (Sh2.4 billion) out of a total fund of $ 420m (Sh33.3 billion), Brazil 2014 winners (Germany) got $35 million (Sh3.2 billion) from a $576 million fund (Sh52.3 billion), before Russia 2018 winners (France) took home $38 million (Sh3.8 billion) out of a total prize bag of $791 million (Sh80.1 billion).
In 2022, FIFA set aside $1 billion (Sh123 billion) for the tournament.
The $1 billion (Sh123 billion) fund consists of $440 million (Sh54.1 billion) in total prize money, Preparation Payments ($70 million; Sh8.6 billion), Club Benefit Programme ($310 million; Sh38.1 billion) and Club Protection and Insurance Fee ($220 million; Sh27 billion).
The players do not get any prize money directly from FIFA, as the money is handed to national federations. However, it is up to national football federations to decide if they want to compensate their players in anyway.