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Video review approved by FIFA for Women's World Cup

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MIAMI (AP) — Video review has been approved for the Women’s World Cup, which runs from June 7 to July 7 in France.

The Video Assistant Referee system made its debut at the men’s tournament in Russia last year and was approved Friday for use at the women’s tournament.

Of the 455 incidents checked by VAR at last year’s World Cup, 20 led to video reviews. Among the reviews was one late in the first half of the final, which led to a hand ball call on Croatia’s Ivan Perisic. Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty kick to give France a 2-1 lead, and Les Bleus went on to a 4-2 win.

FIFA has been criticized by women’s players for the disparity in resources between the men’s and women’s games.

The governing body announced in October that prize money for this year’s women’s tournament will be $30 million, of which $4 million will go to the federation of the champion. While the total is double the prize money for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, it is a fraction of the $400 million in prize money for last year’s men’s World Cup, of which $38 million went to champion France.

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FIFA says prize money for the 2022 men’s World Cup will be $440 million.

Women’s soccer players also filed a legal action after FIFA allowed the use of artificial turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. FIFA does not allow artificial turf at the men’s tournament.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said national governing bodies that do not fund women’s soccer to the level FIFA desires will have money withheld that otherwise would go to them under the FIFA Forward development program.

“We have the same amounts dedicated and earmarked for men’s and women’s competitions,” Infantino said Friday. “We still have 50 or 60 associations in the world who do not have proper women’s football. Well, they will receive less money.”

During the news conference, Infantino showed off the ball to be used at the Women’s World Cup — and dropped it.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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