The U.S. Soccer Federation has become the first American national governing body to agree to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally, including World Cup prize money. This is will be the first of its kind in American football, where both sexes are promised equal match fees.
This is a historic achievement for the leaders of the women’s team, for whom victory was not at all guaranteed, and who seem rightfully pleased and proud about the deal after a long battle that involved a wage discrimination complaint, a federal lawsuit, and initial failed negotiations with the U.S. Soccer Federation.
This means that World Cup prize money received by FIFA will be combined and split evenly between the two teams. The settlement serves as tacit acknowledgment that women were underpaid in comparison to the men’s national team over the course of several years.
This was despite the United States women’s national soccer team finding massive success on the international circuit, winning gold medals in the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
Child care, covered for women for more than 25 years, will be extended to men during national team training camps and matches. The women and men also will receive a portion of commercial revenue from tickets for matches controlled by the United States Soccer Federation, with bonuses for sellouts, and each team will get a portion of broadcast, partner and sponsor revenue.
The men’s team will compete in the World Cup in Qatar later this year, having been drawn in the same group as England, Iran and the winner of the final European playoff. The women’s team won the 2019 World Cup in France and will be among the favorites for the 2023 event in Australia and New Zealand.