U.S. Soccer and Top Players Agree to Guarantee Equal Pay
As the women’s soccer stars stared at their laptop screens Monday night and the new labor deal was explained to them, the numbers just kept climbing. A few thousand dollars here. Tens of thousands of dollars there. Pretty soon, the figures had crossed into the millions.
What they added up to, the players all knew, was something many of them had chased for most of their careers: equal pay.
That reality arrived Wednesday in landmark contracts with the U.S. Soccer Federation that will guarantee, for the first time, that soccer players representing the United States men’s and women’s national teams will receive the same pay when competing in international matches and competitions.
In addition to equal rates of pay for individual matches, the deals include a provision, believed to be the first of its kind, through which the teams will pool the unequal prize money payments U.S. Soccer receives from FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, for their participation in the quadrennial World Cup. Starting with the 2022 men’s tournament and the 2023 Women’s World Cup, that money will be shared equally among the members of both teams.
“No other country has ever done this,” U.S. Soccer’s president, Cindy Cone, said of the deal to equalize World Cup payments. “I think everyone should be really proud of what we’ve accomplished here. It really, truly, is historic.”