The American federation has announced that it has reached what it describes as a “historic” and “first of its kind” agreement with the players’ associations of its selection, formalizing equal income between the women’s team and the men’s team.
“The two collective agreements, which run until 2028, enable equal wages with identical economic conditions,” explains the association in a press release.
The announcement comes a few months after the federation’s first tentative settlement with a group of players including star Megan Rapinoe, who launched a court case against the body in 2019. The association (US Soccer) had already committed to paying the women’s national team at the same level as the men’s team.
The collective agreement, now ratified, must be approved by a court to end the lawsuits.
With four world titles and as many Olympic gold medals, the United States women’s national team is the most successful in the history of the sport among women. His record is thus significantly more comprehensive than that of his male counterpart, who never achieved more than third place at the World Cup … 1930.
“It really is a historic moment. These agreements are forever changing sport here in the United States, and they have the potential to change sport around the world,” US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in the same statement.
Ms Parlow Cone added: “Anyway you look at this deal, the men gave up money to get that balance. I think the men’s team and the players’ association both need to be celebrated.”
“This is an important agreement. Proud of you for never giving up and kudos to @ussoccer for agreeing to do the right thing,” tweeted US President Joe Biden.
Under the terms of these collective agreements, the bonus system for the men’s and women’s teams will be identical “for all competitions including the FIFA World Cup”, introducing for the first time a similar commercial revenue-sharing mechanism.
They all arrive in a common pot, shared equally between the players. And, for example, a win in an international match organized by US Soccer can net you up to $18,000, whether you’re a player or a player.
For the men, one of the National Team Players Association (USNSTPA) board members, Walker Zimmerman, said he hoped the agreement “will sensitize others to the need for these kinds of changes and inspire FIFA and others around the world to move in that direction move”.
“They said equal pay for men and women wasn’t possible, but that didn’t stop us from moving forward and achieving that equality,” said the Nashville SC defenseman.
Ms Parlow Cone said in September she hoped to “harmonize” World Cup bonuses for America’s men’s and women’s teams to settle the dispute between the body and national team players.
The issue of those bonuses was a key part of the 2019 lawsuit filed by America’s women’s team, most notably Megan Rapinoe, which accused the federation of “stubbornly refusing” to pay its players fairly.
FIFA, for example, awarded France a bonus of more than €32m for their global men’s 2018 success, while the Americans received just €3.4m for their 2019 World Cup title. And the American players who were eliminated in the round of 16 in 2014 received 4.5 million euros, while their female counterparts received only 1.45 million for winning their competition.
The governing body of world football has already announced that the total player earnings for the next men’s World Cup in Qatar will be $400 million and for the 2023 women’s World Cup in Australia $60 million for women players.