Lausanne, Sep 21 (AP/UNB) — In a concession to women's soccer, FIFA will start funding business-class flights for some of the Women's World Cup teams traveling to France for next year's tournament.
Total prize money will also "significantly increase" from the $15 million shared among 24 teams at the 2015 tournament, FIFA official Emily Shaw said Thursday at the Women In Sports Law conference.
The total sum will be confirmed by the FIFA Council, which meets Oct. 25-26 in Rwanda, she said.
FIFA has been urged to close the gap between women's and men's World Cups in a new four-year cycle of tournaments and commercial deals that begins next year. In the current cycle, World Cup champion France earned $38 million from FIFA, while the United States got $2 million for winning the 2015 Women's World Cup.
FIFA has pledged to share $440 million in prize money among the 32 men's teams playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
At the 2018 World Cup, FIFA offered "business-class return flights for 50 people" to all men's team delegations going to Russia. The new FIFA pledge to women does not cover all teams going to France.
Flight upgrades to business class will be paid except for team flights under four hours, said Shaw, FIFA's head of women's football governance. Teams already qualified to play in France include Australia, Brazil, Chile, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
"It is definitely progress and, for those teams that travel enormous distances, it is going to come as a huge relief," former FIFA Council member Moya Dodd told The Associated Press at the conference.
FIFA should increase the women's prize fund by at least the same $40 million raise in men's total prize money from 2018 to 2022, she said.
"Leaders in sport should not be content to sit back and let the gender pay gap get wider in absolute terms on their watch," said Dodd, a former Australia national team player.
FIFA will also raise standards for the 2019 Women's World Cup by ensuring opposing teams do not have to stay at the same hotel. Hotel sharing is prohibited in men's World Cup rules.
Shaw announced that change Thursday, and said FIFA also wanted to pay preparation costs for Women's World Cup teams. Teams at the 2018 World Cup got $1.5 million from FIFA in addition to prize money of at least $8 million each.
FIFA also wants to compensate women's clubs for releasing players to national team duty for the World Cup. FIFA shared $209 million among men's clubs whose players took part in World Cup games.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) – The Maldives League champions New Radiant SC will play Bangladesh Premier League’s newcomer Bashundhara Kings in a FIFA International Friendly Football match in Nilphamari on Friday.
The match will be held in the Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari, which hosted the first international football match involving Bangladesh National team and touring Sri Lanka National football team recently.
New Radiant Club coach Saba Muhammad and Bashundhara Kings Coach Oscar at a press conference at Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari Thursday evening expressed their optimism to win the match.
Dhaka, Sep 21 (UNB) – Bangladesh’s lost to Afghanistan by 136 runs in a dead-rubber of the 14th Asia Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 256 runs, Bangladesh finished on 119 for all in 42.1 overs, losing their wickets in a gradual interval where all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan [32 off 55b], Mahmudullah Riyad [27 off 54b; 2x4] and Mosaddek Hossain [26* off 60b; 3x4] were the double digit scorers.
Man of the match Rashid Khan [2/13], Mujeeb Ur Rahman [2/22] and Gulbadin Naib [2/30] equally shared six wickets for the winners. Rahmat Shah [1/7], Aftab Alam [1/11] and Mohammad Nabi [1/24] handled the remaining part of the bowling department.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Afghanistan played full 50 overs for 255/7 where Rashid Khan hit an half century of 57* runs and shared a partnership of 95 in 9.1 overs in the unbeaten 8th wicket stand with Gulbadin Naib [42*] after number-four batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi’s top-scoring innings of 58 runs.
Debutant left-handed pacer of Bangladesh Abu Hider endangered Afghanistan innings early, removing two top-order batsmen -- Ihsanullah and Rahmat Shah within the 6th over, keeping the opponent score at 28/2 in 5.5 overs.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan got opener Mohammad Shahzad [37 off 47b; 4x4] before Afghanistan reached the 100-run mark as Shahzad was caught by Hider on 79/3 in 19.3 overs.
But, Shahidi continued to score run up to150/6 in 37.1 overs for his individual innings off 92 balls featuring three boundaries before being caught behind by keeper Liton Kumar Das off pacer Rubel Hossain.
In the middle, Shakib bowled out skipper Asghar Afghan and Samiullah Shenwari [18 off 31b; 1x4] at 101in 25.1 overs and 139 in 33.2 overs before trapping experienced all-rounder Mohammad Nabi  at 160/7 in 40.5 overs from where Rashid and Gulbadin started their unbeaten composure.
Rashid threshed Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the last over of the match, taking 19 off six balls, in an innings of 32 balls, including eight boundaries and one six.
Another unbeaten hitter Gulbadin faced 38 balls and hit five boundaries for Afghanistan.
Shakib got four wickets for 42 runs while Abu Hider two for 50 and Rubel the rest one conceding 32 runs for Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB)– BAF Base Bashar clinched Bangladesh Air Force Inter-Base Squash Competition beating Air Headquarters Unit team by 3-1 sets in the final at the Bangladesh Air Force Base Bangabandhu on Thursday.
Wing Commander Sheikh Sazzad Hossain of Bangladesh Air Force Base Bashar team was adjudged the best player in the competition.
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans) Air Vice Marshal Ehsanul Gani Choudhury witnessed the day’s final match as the chief guest and later he distributed prizes among the winners.
Seven teams of Bangladesh Air Force participated in the three-daylong competition concluded on Thursday.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) – Scholastica Uttara made a flying start in the Polar Ice Cream 25th School Handball Tournament (Boys and Girls) crushing Motijheel Govt Girls High School by 8-0 goals in the official opening match of the girls group at Shaheed Capt (retd) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium here on Thursday.
The winners led the first half by 5-0 goals.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Dr Biren Sikder inaugurated the meet at noon at a simple ceremony. Shah Masud Imam, CEO of the meet’s sponsor Dhaka Ice Cream Industries Ltd (Polar Ice Cream), was also present as special guest.
In the day’s other girls competitions, Viqarunnisa Noon School & College thrashed South Points School by 17-0 goals, Kadamtala Purba Basabo School & College beat Shaheed Ramizuddin Cantonment School & College 3-1, Scholastica Uttara defeated Scholastica Mirpur 5-1, Motijheel Govt High School beat Bangladesh International School & College 2-1, Shaheed Anwar Girls College outplayed Siddheswari Girls School 6-0, Sunnydale crushed Dhanmondi Tutorials 11-0, Shaheed Police Smriti College beat Heed Internationals 6-3, Viqarunnisa Noon School & College again crushed Kadamtala Purba Basabo School & College 11-0, Shaheed Ramizuddin Cantonment School& College beat South Points School 7-0 while Heed International beat Dhanmondi Tutorials 3-2.
A total of 36 schools -- 20 teams in the boys group and 16 teams in the girls group -- are competing in the meet.