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US Female Soccer Players Offered Equal Pay with Men after Years of Debates

Lois Oladejo
Sep 20, 2021
09:00 A.M.
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A new development in the US Soccer Federation has got everyone talking, given that it signifies a new era in the world of soccer and the fight for gender equality.

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The world of soccer recently witnessed a revolution after the United States Soccer Federation approved the order to give female soccer players equal pay as men.

The development has caused a rapid uproar of excitement, especially among advocates of gender equality. For years, the issue of gender inequality has especially affected women in sports, as their pay ranges are often beneath those of their male counterparts.

US soccer player Megan Rapinoe. | Photo: Getty Images

US soccer player Megan Rapinoe. | Photo: Getty Images

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Hence, the latest decision by the USSF represents a huge stepping stone. The offer follows a lawsuit filed in 2019 by the women's team, demanding equal pay.

A judge dismissed the suit at the time, prompting the women's team to file an appeal which remained pending for months. In September, the USSF finally offered identical contracts to its men's and women's national teams in an attempt to bridge the gender pay gap.

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The federation maintained that the single pay structure was the best path forward, not only on the national level but also at the international level.

Hence, they called on football players and other unions concerned with the gender-pay dispute to help clamor for the equalization of the World Cup prize money.

The USSF labeled the World Cup pay structure as the root of the teams' pay gap, hence the necessity to bridge it at that level.

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While this latest offer seems to play in their favor, the United States Women National Team Players Association deems it a "PR stunt."

The association took to Twitter to question the genuineness of the USSF proposal. In the tweet, they noted that the federation's PR stunts and bargaining through the media would not bring them closer to a fair agreement.

However, they remained open to "bargaining in good faith to achieve equal pay and the safest working conditions possible." They believe USSF's proposal would achieve none of their desired goals, making it unfavorable to them.

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The USSF has since dismissed the USWNTPA's claims, saying their proposal was real, authentic, and made in good faith.

In an open letter, the federation's president Cindy Parlow Cone noted that the "discrepancy in World Cup prize money" remained their biggest challenge in tackling the issue.

The equal-pay dispute has dragged on for ages. Back in June, Andrea Niz and Sean Fine explored the gender-biased pay grade in the hit docuseries, "LPG."

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It helped the world view the discrimination through the eyes of six successful female soccer players, who featured in the documentary.

The documentary came in the wake of the appeal by the U.S women's national team against the judge's dismissal of their 2019 lawsuit.

The appeal by the women's team described the judge's ruling as legally wrong. They also requested for the court to reverse the decision and remand the case for trial as the earlier ruling defied reality. It seems their appeal finally saw the light of day.

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