The U.S. women’s soccer team defeated Japan on Sunday to win the World Cup. For their dominant performance, the team will collect $2 million from FIFA, the international body that runs the tournament.
The championship prize for women pales in comparison to the $8 million in prize money awarded to men’s teams who lose in the first round. Every men’s team was awarded $1.5 million just for participating.
FIFA, which generates billions in revenue, also forced women — but not the men — to play this year’s World Cup on artificial turf. This not only increased the risk of injury, but also increased temperatures on the field by 20–30 degrees. During tournament, field temperatures reached 120 degrees.
Dozens of top players filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against FIFA in Canadian court, citing the artificial turf issue. The case was dropped when it became clear FIFA would not change the field surface even if they lost. FIFA did agree to play the 2019 women’s World Cup on grass.
The U.S. women’s team has won the World Cup three times. The U.S. men have never won the tournament.