WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- A huge disparity in men's and women's World Cup payments made a U.S. Senator call for equality via resolution Monday on the Senate floor.
"The United States women's soccer team and all World Cup champions should be rewarded for their performance, for their grit, and for their teamwork, rather than devalued for their gender," U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a press release.
The German men's national team received $35 million for its World Cup championship in 2014, while the United States women received just $2 million for its world crown this year. The U.S. men's team even received $9 million after an early exit in the round of 16 teams last year.
While on the Senate floor, Leahy spoke about how Wimbledon dispersed equal prize money to its winners, men and women.
The resolution called for FIFA to "immediately eliminate gender pay inequity and treat all athletes with the same respect and dignity. Whereas the Fe´de´ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) awarded $576,000,000 to the 32 teams that competed in the 2014 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $15,000,000 to the 24 teams that competed in the 2015 Women's World Cup."
In 2010, FIFA awarded $420 million to the 32 teams in the 2010 men's World Cup, but just $10 million to the 24 teams in the 2011 women's World Cup. The 2010 men's World Cup champions received $30 million more than the 2011 women's World Cup champions.
"Wimbledon chose to be on the right side of history in 2007 by ensuring pay equity for female and male athletes," Leahy said. "I hope the story of the American Women's World Cup champions not receiving fair treatment by FIFA will inspire more people to join the fight for equal prize awards. With this resolution that I introduce today, let the Senate be on record in support of fair treatment for all World Cup champions as we urge FIFA to change its policy, just as the All England Club did years ago."
Leahy also noted that "the 2015 Women's World Cup final had more than 25,000,000 viewers in the United States, making it more widely viewed than the Major League Baseball World Series or the National Basketball Association Finals."