The U.S. men's team, which was eliminated in the first knockout round of the 2014 World Cup, received $8 million in prize money — four times the amount as its champion counterpart.
The total prize money for the Women's World Cup was $15 million – compared with $576 million for the men's tournament, Mary Pilon reported in Politico.
Pilon also reported that the National Women's Soccer League teams have a salary cap of $200,000. Major League Soccer teams each have a $3.1 million salary cap.
In other sports, the disparity in salary between men's and women's leagues is equally as obvious:
With the exception of women's tennis — which only recently won equal prize money at all four Grand Slam tournaments — the gender disparity across other professional sports remains poor as well. Total prize money for the PGA tour, more than $250 million, is more than five times that of the LPGA tour ($50 million), according to the Women's Sports Foundation. In the WNBA, the minimum salary for 2013 was $37,950 and the team salary cap was $913,000. For NBA players during the same season, the minimum salary was $490,180 and the team salary cap was $58.7 million.
When the disparity in pay for women athletes versus men is raised, the argument often veers toward television ratings, with claims that women's sports are watched by significantly fewer people.
However, TV by the Numbers reports that 20.3 million viewers tuned in to the Women's World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan. The match between the U.S. and Portugal during the 2014 men's World Cup — the most watched soccer game in U.S. history until Sunday night — produced 18.2 million viewers.