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The US Soccer Federation promised equal pay for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams on Tuesday. Twenty-eight stars of the women’s team, the reigning world champion, had filed a class action.
They are used to triumphing on the lawns but it is on another ground that the stars of the American women’s soccer team have won a great victory: that of equal pay. Their federation has pledged to pay them on the same level as their male counterparts in a deal with a group of female players, including star Megan Rapinoe, whom she was suing.
“US Soccer agrees to pay the same salary from now on for the women’s and men’s national teams in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup,” detail the terms of the agreement between the two parties, sent Tuesday to ‘AFP.
Twenty-eight players of the United States women’s national team, world champions in France in 2019, had filed a class action against the discriminatory policy of the American Football Association.
“When we win, everyone wins,” tweeted American soccer star Megan Rapinoe after the deal was announced.
The agreement should put an end to the lawsuits filed by this group of players and concerns a total of 24 million dollars (about the equivalent in euros), of which 22 million will be distributed according to a method proposed by the players of the women’s national team. .
“Of course we can’t go back and undo the injustices we’ve faced, but it shows that it can never happen again,” Megan Rapinoe also told ABC, greeting “a great day.”
A win for “for women in general”
Also interviewed on ABC and appearing alongside US football president Cindy Parlow Cone (also a former international), striker Alex Morgan said the deal was a win for all parties.
“It’s a huge step forward that makes us feel valued, respected and repairs our relationship with US Soccer,” said the 190-capped player. “I don’t see it just as a victory for our team or for women’s sport, but for women in general.”
In France, Blues captain Wendie Renard judged the United States to be “far ahead” on the issue of equal pay in football, achieved by American players.
“We know that American football is way ahead of European football. ‘Football’ is the number 1 sport, there is no comparison. Today they have titles, a record, so they can afford to do this fight with their federation”, the Lyon defender reacted at a press conference after the Azzurri’s victory against the Netherlands at the Tournoi de France. “Because when you win, you have more power to ask for things.”
“Above all, it is not equal pay that is of interest. It is already the structures in the clubs, the daily life”, continued the captain of the Azzurri, who do not have an important title to their credit.
The application of the terms of the agreement will depend on the ratification of a collective agreement between the players of the national team and the federation. Once this collective agreement is ratified and the agreement approved by a court, the cases will be extinguished.
US President Cindy Parlow Cone said in September that she hoped to “harmonize” World Cup bonuses for US men’s and women’s teams in order to resolve the dispute between the body and the national team players.
The issue of these bonuses was an important part of the lawsuit filed by the American women’s team in 2019, and in particular by Megan Rapinoe, who accused the federation of “stubbornly refusing” to pay their players fairly.
Fifa, for example, granted a bonus of over € 32 million to France during its global success in 2018 among men, while only € 3.4 million was paid to Americans during their 2019 world title. And the American players, eliminated in the 2014 round of 16, had received € 4.5 million while their female counterparts received only 1.45 million for winning their competition.
With four World Cup victories and four Olympic gold medals, the United States women’s national soccer team is the most successful soccer team in the history of women’s sport.