The U.S. Soccer Federation is offering identical contracts for it’s women’s and men’s team. The offer occurred earlier this month on Sept. 15 and is still awaiting acceptance or denial from the player’s unions of both the women’s and men’s national teams. The effort to propose equal contracts is a signal that the federation wants to align both national teams under one collective bargaining agreement system.
In a statement earlier this month, the federation said it “firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams.”
Although no specifics about the contract proposal have been released, it is a huge step in the right direction in the “Equal Play, Equal Pay’ movement. However, it is up to the players’ unions to make the monumental decision of accepting or denying the offer. The unions had no public comment on the matter.
The move comes a few years after many of the U.S. Women’s National team players filed suit against the federation for lesser pay despite consistently outperforming their male counterparts. In 2018, the men’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup; yet in 2019, the USWNT brought home the gold in the Women’s World Cup.
While most of the lawsuits have been thrown away, many USWNT players have appealed their case.
The federation commented earlier this month that the contract proposal will secure that both the women’s and men’s teams will “remain among the highest paid senior national team players in the world.”
However, several pay disparities persist. One of the largest pay gaps between women’s and men’s soccer can be seen in the FIFA World Cup prize money amount. FIFA has offered a whopping $440 million in prize money to the winning team of the men’s World cup in 2022. Yet, the women’s World Cup is only proposed at $60 million.
Until these stark differences are addressed, the organization says it will not make a definitive move on contract proposals.
As of now the men’s team union is working under the same contract that expired in 2018, whereas the women’s team union is working under a contract that expires at the end of the year.