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‘Historic’ equal pay deal for US men and women soccer teams

The US men’s and women’s national soccer teams will receive equal pay under a “historic” agreement.

US player Megan Rapinoe in a 2021 game against Korea Republic in Kansas City
US player Megan Rapinoe in a 2021 game against Korea Republic in Kansas City - Copyright AFP Wakil KOHSAR
US player Megan Rapinoe in a 2021 game against Korea Republic in Kansas City - Copyright AFP Wakil KOHSAR

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

The move makes the federation the first in the world to equalize World Cup prize money awarded to men’s and women’s teams, it said.

“This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have 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.

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

The question of World Cup prize money had formed a prominent part of the lawsuit filed by the women’s team in 2019, which accused the federation of “stubbornly refusing” to pay its men and women’s players equally.

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

“The accomplishments in this CBA (collective bargaining agreement) are a testament to the incredible efforts of WNT players on and off the field,” said US women’s captain Becky Sauerbrunn, adding that she hoped the agreement “will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad.”

The United States women have won four Women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. They are chasing an unprecedented third consecutive Women’s World Cup crown after hoisting trophies in 2015 at Canada and 2019 in France. They last won Olympic gold in London in 2012.

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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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