Nadeshiko know the score: Slay the giant and get a watch

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The Independent Football

Should the United States win tonight's Women's World Cup final in Frankfurt their stars are each expected to net sponsorship deals in excess of $3 million (£1.86m). But if Japan emerge victorious their players will only get new watches.

Such is the astonishing financial divide that separates the two teams contesting the richest game in the history of women's football.

The Americans, who in 25 previous meetings with Japan have never lost, should collect the trophy for a third time – unprecedented in the women's game. Their association will collect a $1m prize, much of which is expected to go out in bonuses. Top players will pick up further riches from endorsements.

Tonight's losers receive $800,000 but Japan are not expecting much of a share of either amount. The most that manager Norio Sasaki is hoping for from their FA president, Junji Ogura, is a few trinkets for a team who are the tournament's top scorers with 12 goals and whose 1-0 win over Germany is arguably the biggest upset in World Cup history.

Sasaki said: "For the Nadeshiko [Japan] it is not about money, it is about being on the pitch, being part of the World Cup. That is a great opportunity for our players, so we have not talked about money. But now we have reached the final, maybe a watch; yes, a watch would be a nice thing. [The] president may think about that. We'll never get the amount that would have been paid to Germany."

Had the hosts won for a third successive time, their players would have pocketed £50,000 each. England received £350,000 for reaching the quarter-finals, but the Football Association would not put a figure on the level, if any, of bonuses.

The tournament certainly rates as a financial success, with the organisers hoping to break even on their £41m budget. Nearly £20m has been raised from the six sponsors, with ticket sales expected to cover the rest.

The smart money remains on a third US victory but England's Rachel Yankey is among those hoping for an upset. The Arsenal winger, who scored in England's 2-0 group victory over Japan, said: "It would be nice to see a change in the world order. Since the Japanese girls were so complimentary about our performance against them I'd like to return the compliment by hoping they'll win the final. They play lovely football, the best at the tournament in my opinion. It should be a great final."

Five North Korean players have tested positive for steroids. Two were caught during the tournament and three more tested positive after Fifa tested the rest of the squad.

North Korea claim the steroids were accidentally taken with traditional Chinese medicines based on musk glands to treat players who had been struck by lightning on 8 June during a training camp.

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