US Soccer agrees to pay men’s and women’s teams equally

The US Soccer Federation announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to pay players on the US Women’s National Team the same as it pays players on the US Men’s National Team.

The collective bargaining agreement will run through 2028 and includes “matching” of World Cup prize money, according to NPR.

The contract comes after several years of efforts by the USWNT to force the federation to offer equal salaries between the two teams. The agreement will also give the players $22 million in retroactive salaries.

“We hope that this Agreement and its landmark achievements in not only providing equal pay but also improving the training and playing environment for women’s national team players will similarly serve as a foundation for the continued growth of women’s football both in the United States and abroad. ”, USWNT player Becky Sauerbrunn said.

Salary scales between the two teams have “identical financial terms,” ​​the federation reports, including equal annual salaries and incentives and tournaments, including the two World Cups.

The teams will also have the same treatment in the distribution of income from ticket sales.

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

While the deal is called “equal pay,” it actually heavily favors women. Women’s football has far fewer fans, both on television and in stadiums.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup, for example, reached a record 1.12 billion viewers worldwide. That may seem like a lot until you realize that the year before, the Men’s World Cup drew 3.572 million viewers worldwide and made $6 billion in revenue.

Income disparity is also nothing new. For example, the 2010 Men’s World Cup generated $4 billion in revenue. But the Women’s World Cup that year raised just $73 million.

Men’s soccer reaches many more fans and makes much more money from ticket sales and sponsorship. But if women are now paid the same as male players, that means female players reap greater rewards for bringing far less revenue to the league than their male counterparts.

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