'Historic' US football equal pay deal struck - RTHK
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'Historic' US football equal pay deal struck

2022-05-19 HKT 01:53
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  • US women's captain Becky Sauerbrunn celebrates after Team USA's triumph at the 2019 Women's World Cup. File photo: AFP
    US women's captain Becky Sauerbrunn celebrates after Team USA's triumph at the 2019 Women's World Cup. File photo: AFP
The US men's and women's national football teams will receive equal pay under a "historic" agreement announced by the US Soccer Federation on Wednesday, following years of pressure from female players.

The move makes the federation the first in the world to equalise World Cup prize money awarded to its men's and women's teams.

"This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world," said US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone.

The terms of Wednesday's landmark agreement include "identical compensation for all competitions, including the Fifa World Cup, and the introduction of the same commercial revenue sharing mechanism for both teams," USSF said.

The deal stipulates that players from both teams "pool and share" the otherwise unequal prize money paid by Fifa for participation in their respective World Cups.

Equalising World Cup pay had been a major stumbling block given the huge discrepancy in Fifa's payouts for the men's and women's events.

"The accomplishments in this CBA (collective bargaining agreement) are a testament to the incredible efforts of WNT players on and off the field," said US women's captain Becky Sauerbrunn, president of the women's players' association.

She added that she hoped the agreement "will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women's football both in the United States and abroad."

The US men received US$5.375 million from Fifa for reaching the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup – the last they played in – while the women received US$1.725 million for winning the 2015 tournament.

Fifa awarded France US$38 million for winning the 2018 men's World Cup but only US$4 million to the United States for their 2019 Women's World Cup triumph.

The question of World Cup prize money had formed a prominent part of the lawsuit, which was filed in 2019 and accused the federation of "stubbornly refusing" to pay its men and women's players equally. (AFP)