US women's soccer team slams federation chief's 'utterly false' claim that they’ve been paid more than their male counterparts
US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro and the USSF issued an open letter claiming that the federation has been paying millions more to women national team players than their male counterparts for much of the last decade
The United States Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) has reportedly hit back at the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) after its chief claimed that that the women's team was paid more than the men's team. The women's team slammed the federation, and called the numbers released by them "utterly false".
The move came after US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro and the USSF finally ended their silence over the issue that was raised post-World Cup in an open letter claiming that the federation has been paying millions more to women national team players than their male counterparts for much of the last decade.
The letter, released by the federation, stated that an independent accounting firm verified that the US women's players were paid $34.1 million by the federation from 2010 to 2018 as salaries and bonuses in comparison to the $26.4 million paid to the men's team.
My letter and fact sheet to our soccer community about the @USWNT lawsuit. We’re committed to doing right by our women’s players, and I’m optimistic we can get this done. https://t.co/5bzV4KRFdm (1/2) pic.twitter.com/GYYnPH1Z7c— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) July 29, 2019
The letter also stated that while the additional payments from FIFA for the men's team continue to remain higher for men than women, that is FIFA's discretion and not that of the USSF. Reports also stated that the total men's pot paid out by FIFA for the World Cups is nearly 13 times higher than the amount paid to women.
Cordeiro said that the men's and women's teams operate within separate collective bargaining agreements and pay structures, which eventually comes down to each team choosing to "negotiate a different compensation package" with US Soccer.
The US women's national soccer team, however, said that they offered to move to the same compensation structure as the men but the offer was turned down by the USSF. The team called the refusal of their order the "very definition of gender discrimination". The women's team had also filed an "institutionalized gender discrimination lawsuit" against the federation in March.
A spokesperson for the USWNT players, Molly Levinson, said: "This is a sad attempt by the USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress. For every game a man plays on the MNT he makes a higher base salary payment than a woman on the WNT. For every comparable win or tie, his bonus is higher. That is the very definition of gender discrimination."
The US Men's National Team played 152 games, including eight World Cup matches between 2010-2018, in comparison to the US Women’s National Team, which played a total of 198 games, including 13 World Cup appearances, in the same period.