The World Cup is the pinnacle of football and the dream of every footballer, referee, coach, and every other person that has anything to do with the round leather game.
Since the World cup is the climax of football, the best of referees are always appointed across all the confederations that make up the global body FIFA, to officiate the matches.
When you are talking about being placed on the spotlight, the referees are the central figure of every game. They are seen as the god of every football match because every decision they make will break the hearts of one team and gladdens the hearts of the other.
Though this supreme authority referees enjoy on the field of play have been seriously downplayed by the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) which can interfere in a live match and change the initial decision of a referee.
Yet, when any football game goes wrong, the fans, football pundits, the players and even the coaches, blame the central referee for it especially when they are on the losing side.
Hence, this group of football officials are always well paid due to the pressure that usually comes from officiating a match.
For a proper analysis of how much a FIFA World Cup referee is paid, the 2018 World Cup held in Russia would be used as a point of reference.
During the World Cup, 36 referees were chosen from 6 continents. FIFA said those referees were chosen based on their individual skills, personality, their level of understanding of football and their “ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams.”
Each of the 36 referees is aided by a small team of assistants (now including an extra assistant who will act as the VAR). Hence, in 2018, FIFA appointed 63 assistant referees to work with the 36 central referees during the World Cup in Russia.
How Much a FIFA World Cup Referee Earns
Now, talking about how much they earned during the World Cup, the referees that officiated in Russian earned a basic salary of $70,000 for the entire tournament. Besides that, they get $3,000 for every match they officiated. These were aside the fact that all their expenses were paid by FIFA throughout the tournament.
However, the assistant referees reportedly earned lower than the centre referees. Their basic salary was $25,000 for the tournament, with an additional $2,000 per any match they were featured in.
These figures have been enjoying upward review since 2006. This is so because of the increase in sponsorships and other commercial deals that come with every World Cup year.
For instance, in 2006, the main referees were paid $35,000 each. For the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, the referees’ salary increased to $50,000.
So, the heat the FIFA World Cup referees always go through in every tournament is well enumerated. The little fame they may enjoy during a match may not last beyond the match but their take-home pay can last as long as they can manage it.