The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the United States Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) have agreed to a deal that achieves “equal pay and set the global standard moving forward in international soccer.”
US Soccer, under the agreements, will become “the first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money” awarded to the teams for participating in World Cups.
“This is a truly historic moment,” US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement on Wednesday. “These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.”
Cone added: “US Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States .”
As part of the agreement, US Soccer will share a portion of its “broadcast, partner and sponsorship revenue with a 50/50 split of that share divided equally between USWNT and USMNT.”
“They said equal pay for men and women was not possible, but that did not stop us and we went ahead and achieved it,” said Walker Zimmerman, member of the USNSTPA leadership group.
“We hope this will 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,” added Zimmerman.
The deal also encompasses other areas such child care, parental leave, short-term disability, mental health impairment, travel and equal quality of venues and field playing surfaces.
“We hope that this agreement and its historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for National Team players will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad, said USWNT player and USWNTPA President Becky Sauerbrunn.
Actress Jessica Chastain tweeted “Goooooool!” after the announcement was made public, reflecting the mood of many on social media.
Earlier this year, US Soccer and the USWNT reached an agreement to end a dispute over equal pay dating back to March 2019 when the USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer.
As part of the agreement, US Soccer paid $22 million to the players in the case as well as an additional $2 million into an account “to benefit USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer,” according to a joint statement from US Soccer and the USWNT.
Wednesday’s equal pay announcement comes six months before the USMNT is scheduled to take part in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which begins on November 21.