US Soccer Federation to pay men’s, women’s teams equally

The governing body for the U.S. soccer teams has come to an agreement that will pay both the men’s and women’s teams equally.

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The U.S. Soccer Federation announced separate collective bargaining agreements with the unions for both the men’s and women’s national teams that are in effect through December 2028, The Associated Press reported.

The men’s agreement had expired in December 2018 while the women’s expired at the end of March but they continued to hold discussions after the federation and the players settled a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by some players in 2019.

The settlement required that all sides would agree to contracts that would equalize pay and bonuses.

The biggest point of contention was the prize money won from the World Cup. The payout is based on how far a team advances. The women won back-to-back World Cup titles but differences in FIFA prize money meant they received less money than the male winners.

Now the FIFA prize money will be pooled for the Men’s World Cup in 2022 and the Women’s World Cup in 2023 and again in 2026 and 2027.

The men’s team will be playing in the World Cup starting Nov. 21 in Qatar, The New York Times reported.

Each player will get the same payout from the pooled funds after the federation takes its cut.

U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone called the agreement “historic” and a first for the sport, the Times reported.

FIFA will pay out a total of $440 million for the 2022 men’s World Cup. The president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, has proposed that the organization double the women’s prize money to $60 million for the 2023 World Cup after the slate of teams was increased to 32.

Players will also get identical game bonuses for lesser tournaments and the same appearance fees and payments for all exhibition games.

The AP said other agreements in the discussion include:

  • Men’s team members will get child care covered going forward. Women’s team members had child care for more than 25 years.
  • Male and female players both will get portions of commercial revenue for USSF-controlled match ticket sales.
  • Bonuses for sellouts.
  • Both teams will get a portion of broadcast, partner and sponsor revenue.
  • Players will get a 401(k) plan with a 5% match.

>>Previous coverage: US women’s soccer settles $24M equal pay lawsuit

The settlement reached earlier this year — which marked the end of a 6-year legal battle — required the USSF to pay $24 million, with $22 million paid to players and a $2 million fund that will help players in their post-soccer careers and charitable donations to grow women’s soccer programs, the AP reported.