5 ridiculous things FIFA spent more money on than prizes for the U.S. women's champions
C'mon FIFA. Step up your game.
Usually when we talk about American sports, we talk about football or baseball and which big burly dude can hit other burly dudes harder and faster and stuff.
But this past weekend, 22 million people tuned in to watch the women's World Cup final, where America squared off against Japan and won a historic 5-2 victory.
Not only that, but the U.S. women's soccer team gained thousands of new fans. Which is great!
While 40% of all athletes are female, women's sports get only 4% of all sports media coverage in the United States.
Whether or not you closely follow sports, let alone women's soccer, this is really cool.
But the news of the women's win was bittersweet when it was revealed that they received less money for their victory than the U.S. men's team did for their World Cup loss.
The women's team will receive $2 million for their win, which is a lot of money by any means.
But when we take a look at how much money FIFA has invested in other things, it's clear that FIFA is underselling (and underpaying) its female players.
And that is indefensibly uncool.
Here's some of the things that FIFA has spent more money on than the winning women's World Cup team.
(This is where you put on your rage hat. You do have a rage hat, don't you?)
1. $27 million went to this embarrassing flop of a movie.
Last year, FIFA released a movie about the organization's origin story, titled "United Passions."
It invested an estimated $27 million in the movie, which raked in somewhere around $200,000 in theaters. To add insult to injury, it has a whopping 1-star rating on IMDb and a 1% rating on Metacritic, meaning "overwhelming dislike." Ouch.
2. $8 million on each men's soccer team that did not make it out of the first round of the World Cup.
There were 16 teams that did not make it out of the group stage in last year's World Cup. They got $8 million. Each. The men's teams that lost in the first round got paid four times more than the winning women.
How ridiculous is that? I wish I got paid that much for losing things.
3. $18 million on parties where fans could watch the World Cup for free.
These parties, called FIFA Fan Fests, took place last year in 12 cities throughout Brazil to offer "secure, family-friendly locations where both local and international fans can watch FIFA world cup matches in a unique FIFA world cup environment." $18 million is nine times the amount awarded to this year's winning women's World Cup team.
4. $4.4 million on one year's worth of bonuses to the FIFA executive committee.
During the 2010 World Cup, the 35-member FIFA committee received an estimated $4.4 million in bonuses.
Payouts like these are just one of many reasons why FIFA is now under a U.S. probe for corruption.
5. Over $2 million in a small country that has never participated in the World Cup.
There are over 200 countries represented in FIFA's Congress, with one delegate given to each country. Each of these countries are eligible to receive money from FIFA for whatever reason.
But the Cayman Islands — a tiny country with a population of 58,435 — has received over $2 million from FIFA to fund a new headquarters and two new soccer fields despite the fact that the Cayman Islands has never even been to the World Cup.
Meanwhile, the women's U.S. team has won the World Cup three times.
Yes, the men's team brings in more money. But FIFA also invests more money in promoting them.
Before any naysayers point out that the paydays of the men are just in proportion to the amount of money that the men's team brings in, let's look at the facts. Yes, the men's World Cup brings in more money, but we also hear the hype around it for years before it actually starts.
FIFA just doesn't put as much into promoting the women's teams and World Cup — only about 15% of what it spends on the men. Arguing that the women's teams need to pull in the same viewing numbers to get paid more is not just nearly impossible, it's unfair.
The 2015 women's World Cup final was the most-watched U.S. soccer game ever — including men's. It's clear that there's not a lack of interest from viewers.
For comparison, more Americans watched last night's game than the 2015 NBA Finals (13.9 million) or the Stanley Cup finals (7.6 million).
The lack of interest comes from FIFA's leadership. And if you ask me, it's about time they changed that. Don't you agree?