“Historical” equal pay deal for men’s and women’s US soccer teams

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The US men’s and women’s national soccer teams will receive equal pay after years of pressure from women players under a “historic” agreement announced by the US Soccer Association on Wednesday.

This makes the association the first in the world to align prize money from world championships between its men’s and women’s teams.

“This is a truly historic moment. These agreements changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world,” said US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone.

The terms of Wednesday’s landmark agreement include “identical compensation for all competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, and the adoption of the same commercial revenue-sharing mechanism for both teams,” the USSF said.

The deal sees players from both teams “pooling and sharing” the otherwise unequal prize money paid by FIFA for attending their respective World Cups.

In non-World Cup tournaments, players “of both teams will receive the same amount of the total prize money paid out if both teams participate in the same competition”.

In February, the US women’s national team won a $24 million payout and a promise of equal pay in a major settlement with US Soccer contingent on the new collective bargaining agreement.

The question of World Cup prize money had formed a prominent part of the lawsuit filed in 2019, accusing the association of equally “stubbornly denying” its players.

“The achievements in this CBA are a testament to the incredible efforts of WNT players on and off the pitch,” said US women’s captain Becky Sauerbrunn, who is also president of her team’s players’ association.

She added that she hopes the agreement “will similarly serve as a foundation for the continued growth of women’s football both in the United States and abroad.”


The agreement, which runs until 2028, also aims to improve “player health and safety, data protection and the need to balance club and country responsibilities,” the USSF said.

Women’s star Megan Rapinoe, who has built a reputation as a staunch advocate of social justice, including equal pay and conditions for her and her teammates, said in February that the settlement marked a moment when “US soccer changed for the better “.

Centre-back Walker Zimmerman, a member of the men’s team players’ association, welcomed the deal on Wednesday, saying: “We hope this will sensitize others to the need for this type of change.”

“They said equal pay for men and women wasn’t possible, but that didn’t stop us and we pushed on and got there,” he added.

The United States women have won four women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. After hoisting trophies in Canada 2015 and France 2019, they are chasing an unprecedented third straight World Cup crown. Most recently, they won Olympic gold in London in 2012.


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