Football: US women's national team reach agreement over equal pay dispute

Under the terms of the agreement, players will receive US$24 million (S$32.3 million). PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - The United States women's national football team (USWNT) and the governing body US Soccer have agreed to resolve the equal pay claims in litigation that have been pending since 2019, the two parties said on Tuesday (Feb 22).

"We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer," US Soccer and USWNT said in a joint-statement.

The New York Times reported that under the terms of the agreement, players will receive US$24 million (S$32.3 million) and a pledge from US Soccer to equalise pay for the men's and women's national teams in all competitions, including the World Cup, in the next collective bargaining agreements.

"Getting to this day has not been easy. The US Women's National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes," the joint-statement added.

"Today, we recognise the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow."

The World Cup-winning team sued the governing body in 2019 seeking US$66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act, alleging gender discrimination in compensation and nearly every other aspect of playing conditions.

US Soccer argued the women's team had received more compensation than the men's team over the last decade.

In May 2020, a United States District Court judge for the Central District of California threw out the players' claims for equal pay but allowed their claims about playing conditions to go forward.

The players reached a settlement on the conditions part of the lawsuit and had appealed against the wage decision portion.

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