Women in the U.S. Soccer Federation were finally victorious in their years-long fight for payment equality. On Wednesday, the men’s and women’s national teams jointly announced a collective bargaining agreement that will achieve equal pay.
Men and women will be compensated on “identical” terms for all games and competitions. The deals will also erase the payment disparity in the World Cup prize money, one of the thorniest barriers for equal pay. The deals last through 2028.
FIFA has declined to equalize the prize money for the World Cup, which has been a hurdle for equal pay. In 2018, FIFA gave a total of $400 million to men’s teams at the World Cup, with winner France taking home $38 million. By contrast, FIFA gave all women’s teams at the 2019 World’s Cup a total of just $30 million, with the U.S. women’s team taking home $4 million for their victory.
Under the new agreement, the U.S. men’s and women’s teams will pool any World Cup winnings and distribute them equally between both teams. It’s an innovative solution.
Yahoo! Sports notes that past deals had pitched the men’s and women’s teams as competitors for “finite resources,” each trying to get a share of the pie. This new agreement unites them in a common cause of bringing American soccer the same sort of attention it receives in many other countries.
It’s “a truly historic moment,” said U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement.
Walker Zimmerman, a USMNT defender, praised the agreement and said he hoped it sparked further change for payment equality. He hopes it will help “awaken others to the need for this type of change, and will inspire FIFA and others around the world to move in the same direction.”