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USSF reaches historic equal pay agreement

After lengthy dispute, equal pay for men and women footballers achieved

Following a long legal battle, 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 the terms of “historic, first-of-their-kind” collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that achieve equal pay for men and women footballers.

The USSF said the agreements, which are now awaiting final approval by the class members and the court, set the “global standard moving forward in international soccer”.

The two CBAs, which run through 2028, achieve equal pay through identical economic terms. These economic terms include identical compensation for all competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, and the introduction of the same commercial revenue sharing mechanism for both teams. “The agreements will ensure that US Soccer’s Senior National Team players remain among the highest paid in the world,” the USSF said.

The USSF statement added: “Under these agreements, US Soccer becomes the first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money awarded to the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) for participation in their respective World Cups.”

The new CBAs also improve non-economic terms, including player health and safety, data privacy and “the need to balance responsibilities to both club and country”.

US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone, said: “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. 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.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the US Soccer Federation paid nearly $9.2 million to Latham & Watkins for legal advice related to its dispute with members of the US Women’s National Team.

In the year ended 31 March 2021, the federation also paid $2.1 million in legal fees to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and $1 million to Crowell & Moring.

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