Players of the US national team (finally) get equal pay

Equal pay for equal work. This is what the players of the US national team just obtained after signing an agreement with the US Federation. In particular, a new mechanism is being created to compensate for the inequality of bonuses awarded by FIFA during the World Cup.

The US roster during a 2021 game, starring Megan Rapinoe (right) © AFP / David Berding / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

It is the culmination of years of struggle against a great injustice. The American Football Federation just announced this Wednesday that a salary agreement has finally been reached with the players’ associations and players of the selections, which will end the salary inequality between the women’s and men’s teams. A historic and unprecedented agreement in the United States and in world football, with salaries and bonuses mainly at the same level for men and women, but above all an unprecedented system for sharing World Cup bonuses.

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Equal pay and business income

The two collective agreements negotiated by the National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) and the National Team Players Association (USNSTPA) allow a rebalancing of different situations until 2028† Salaries will be identical for the first time, whether in friendlies or competitions.

Ditto for bonuses, and this includes bonuses received for participating in World Cups† Finally, so-called “commercial” revenues, including those related to game broadcasting, partnerships and sponsorship, will also be shared equally by the American Football Federation between the two rosters.

Finally, so-called “commercial” revenues, including those related to game broadcasting, partnerships and sponsorship, will also be shared equally by the American Football Federation between the two rosters.

These claims were welcomed as soon as they were announced. Former star players of the US national team such as Alex Morgan expressed their satisfaction on social media: “It’s a historic moment for this team, I’m so proud of all the work that has gone into making it possible

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Compensate the Worlds unfair bonus system

The advance presented by the Federation as the most important is called “Equalization of World Cup Prize Money”: it is a kind of mechanism for bundling part of the premiums which the Federation receives from FIFA for the participation of the national teams in the competition and for their good performance. Under the agreement, this money will be shared equally between the two teams.

The distribution of world prize money has been a source of anger for female players for years and the most glaring element of gender inequality in sport: despite poor performance in competition, the men’s team has always received millions much higher than the women’s team, which has won four world championships and made the country shine in this discipline dominated by Latin America and Europe.

The latter team, as a reward for their third coronation in 2015, had received almost €1.5 million in bonuses from FIFA, while the men’s team had reached €4.5 million for reaching the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup. .

Admittedly, the compensation mechanism is ultimately just a band-aid because the problem comes from FIFA choosing to pay men better, but the National Team Players Association’s concession to agree to bonus pooling is a grand gesture in favor of fairness and equality of pay. From there to serve as an electric shock for FIFA to change its rules? And in that sense, the President of the American Federation, Cindy Parlow Cone, seems to want to believe it by affirming this one”agreements are forever changing the sport here in the United States, and they have the potential to change the sport around the world

A long fight

Same sport and identical rights: none of this happened overnight. Members of the women’s team have reported wage inequality for years years of lawsuits following the lawsuit brought against the federation by the US women’s team in 2019, notably by discipline star Megan Rapinoe and in the same year by four other members of the world champion team.

By February 2022, the athletes had managed to reach an agreement with the American federation allowing several dozen players, current and former selected, to share $24 million in compensation for years of unequal treatment between men and women.

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