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U.S. women's soccer team achieves equal pay

In a long-awaited decision, the United States Soccer Federation made history.

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After six years of litigation between a group of 28 soccer players and the American Soccer Federation — the entity that regulates the sport in the United States — a historic victory has been achieved. The players on the women's team, who have long called out the disparate pay between men and women, now have equal pay.

Through a statement, U.S. Soccer announced its commitment to achieving equality and recognized the unprecedented success achieved by the women's team in reaching the historic decision, from which future athletes will benefit.

“U.S. Soccer is committed to offering the same remuneration to the men's and women's national teams in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup,” the organization released in a statement.

“We are pleased to announce that, depending on the negotiation of a new collective agreement, we will have resolved our long-standing dispute over equal pay and we will be proud to join in a shared commitment to promote equality in football,” can be read in the Federation's document.

In addition to the valuable ruling, the players will also receive $24 million in compensation, after requesting $66 million.

The Process

In 2016, the players filed a gender pay discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was backed by the Equal Pay Act.

The complaint against the U.S. Soccer Team arrived in 2019 under the argument that the discriminatory policy created a major pay disparity between men and women players.

US women's soccer team

In 2020, a California District court downplayed the pay equity problem, recognizing only the petition to balance working conditions.

Finally, in 2022, the players won their historic appeal, in the year in a new FIFA World Cup will be played in Qatar, putting generating pressure on the soccer entity and other national federations.

The current arrangement expires on March 31, and the federal justice system will be in charge of ratifying the new and definitive contract.

Reactions

“It’s 2022, and women shouldn’t have to keep fighting for equal pay - on the factory floor, at the checkout counter, or on the soccer field. But you don’t get what you don’t fight for,” Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter.

Hillary Clinton also pointed out that “getting equal pay shouldn't require a lawsuit. But when it does, the people who fight for fairness make the world better for all of us.”

On the same platform, one of the figures of the North American team, Alex Morgan, celebrated the decision and said that it was "a historic day."

Another of the team's stars, Megan Rapinoe, winner of the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2019, stressed that they are going to leave their sport in a better place than the one they found.

“When we win, we all win!” she said.

The New Deal

As of March 31, a new method for distributing bonuses will be established. To date, the payment of bonuses was made according to the prizes awarded by FIFA, an entity that distributed $38 million in prizes to France, champion of the last men's World Cup, while the United States, champion of the women's World Cup France in 2019, only received $4 million.

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