“The massive discrepancy in FIFA World Cup prize money is by far the most challenging issue we continue to face in our parallel negotiations with the men’s and women’s national teams. While FIFA has made some impactful investments in the women’s game, the discrepancy in prize money remains stark. “As a former player, I want to once again make it clear that I, along with all of U.S. Soccer, am 100% committed to equal pay for our national team players. We remain steadfast in our dedication to ensuring equal pay for our national team,” Parlow Cone said in the letter. “We’re focused on demonstrating this commitment through action. As a federation, we would much rather negotiate a single collective bargaining agreement with both the men’s and women’s teams, but since neither team has agreed to take that approach, we are moving forward separately with each Players Association. “FIFA alone controls those funds, and U.S. Soccer is legally obligated to distribute those funds based on our current negotiated collective bargaining agreements with the men’s and women’s teams.
The USWNT players argue that there are a large number of games, such as World Cup qualifying, for which FIFA doesn’t control the money. The World Cup prize money has been one of the many sticking points between USSF and the players as they federation insists that as FIFA controls the prize pot, it is out of their control to divide it equally.
Players led by Alex Morgan sued the USSF in March 2019.U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone on Friday said United States women’s national team and the men’s national team to join together to negotiate “a solution that equalizes World Cup prize money between the USMNT and USWNT.” – Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)- Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access
“We are interested in negotiating in good faith to get a fair deal for our players and will not let them use our fight for equality to create a divide between the women and men. We remain committed to working with all parties for a fair deal that lifts all players.” A spokesperson for the players involved in the case said that actions were needed over more words. “It is simply false that in past negotiations the Federation offered the Women’s National Team the ‘exact same contract.’ If the USSF was serious about equal pay, they would not engage in publicity stunts which fall short of addressing our issues,” executive director of the USWNT Players Association Becca Roux said in a statement.
Both the USWNT Players Association and the players who have sued the USSF rejected a number of the claims made in the latest letter. “Within this challenge, we see an opportunity to create change. To capitalize on that opportunity, we need our men’s and women’s national teams to come together and re-think how we’ve done things in the past. To that end, we have invited the players and both Players Associations to join U.S. Soccer in negotiating a solution together that equalizes World Cup prize money between the USMNT and USWNT.”
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- US Soccer asks USMNT and USWNT to split FIFA World Cup prize money equally
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