Our Proposal for Equal Pay for Women and Men National Team Players – March 7, 2020
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters of U.S. Soccer,
We want to update you about our ongoing efforts to chart a new path forward with our Women’s National Team (WNT) regarding equal pay.
U.S. Soccer has long been committed to fair and equitable compensation, regardless of gender. While the Men’s National Team (MNT) and WNT contracts are indeed different, these compensation models are a result of good-faith bargaining with two separate unions, each with different goals when they negotiated their agreements.
Last month, we offered the WNT Players Association multiple contract options, which we strongly believe address the team’s goals as they have been presented to us by the players and their representatives. In particular, we have offered to provide identical compensation to our women’s and men’s players for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer.
Since extending this offer, we have made multiple attempts to meet with the WNT to discuss these new options. So far, they have repeatedly declined our invitation to meet on the premise that our proposal does not include U.S. Soccer agreeing to make up the difference in future prize money awarded by FIFA for the Men’s and Women’s World Cups, a number that would be more than $34 million today. In addition, they are seeking more than $66 million dollars, which is the difference in prize money between the last two FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cups.
We want to take this opportunity to again note that the FIFA World Cup prize money at issue is determined by FIFA, not U.S. Soccer.
As a non-profit, member-based organization, U.S. Soccer has obligations to all of our members—including 22 national teams, 113 members across the country and millions of players, coaches and referees at all levels—and we have a responsibility to help all of our members grow. There is indeed a significant difference in World Cup prize money awarded by FIFA to the men’s and women’s championship teams. However, it is not reasonable or fiscally sound for U.S. Soccer to make up the gap. It would seriously impair our ability to support our mission and invest in these other critical developmental areas.
As we have in the past, U.S. Soccer will continue to be a tireless advocate for the expansion of women’s soccer at home and abroad. This will require a concerted effort by all parties to increase investment, competitions and prize money.
At the same time, our proposal to provide identical compensation to our MNT and WNT for all matches controlled by U.S. Soccer remains on the table. We remain hopeful that the players and representatives of the WNT will accept our offer to meet for a productive dialogue.
We will be sure to keep you updated as we do everything we can to resolve this lawsuit in the best interests of everyone involved, including all members of our Federation.