The American Football Association created a historic moment on Wednesday. US Soccer is the first national federation to reward women and men equally.
American soccer players have fought for years to get the same amount of money as men’s national team players. US Soccer has reached a new collective bargaining agreement with women and men, following which this often fierce battle has now yielded the desired result.
“This is truly a historic moment,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement on the site of the union. “These deals changed football here in the United States forever and could change the rest of the football world as well.”
In the new collective labor agreements, which apply until 2028, the financial conditions for women and men are exactly the same. For the first time, football players will receive the same amount of prize money for their respective World Cups.
For this, the prize money that national teams win at World Cups is put into a big pot. Then men and women each receive half of the total amount. This process will start from the Men’s World Cup at the end of this year in Qatar, where the full prize pool is $440 million (€418 million).
Star player Megan Rapinoe (right) has been committed to equal pay in recent years.
“Let’s hope it inspires FIFA”
The United States is the most successful country in women’s football with four world titles, the last two of which were in 2015 and 2019. The American men’s team is less strong, but has received more awards, in particular because the prizes in the men’s tournaments are higher.
American football players wanted the courts to enforce that they would be paid equally. Last February, the players and US Soccer reached an agreement after a six-year legal battle: the union would give the women’s team 24 million dollars (21 million euros) in compensation for lost income from these last years. The condition of this arrangement was that the two parties reach an agreement on a new collective labor agreement. This was achieved after months of negotiations.
“I am very proud that girls growing up now see that they are valued, instead of having to fight for that appreciation,” striker Margaret Purce told the news agency. PA† “Rewarding men and women equally is how it should be.”
Defenseman Walker Zimmerman, who attended contract negotiations on behalf of the men’s team, is also pleased. “They said it wasn’t possible to reward men and women equally, but that didn’t stop us,” the 27-time international said. “We hope this will wake up others and inspire FIFA and others to do the same.”
In the Netherlands, allowances for women have been gradually increased in recent years. The KNVB wants to reward men and women equally from 2023.
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