American football links World Cup prize to fight for equal pay

“Until FIFA resolves this discrepancy, we really need the help of the men’s and women’s teams to help us resolve this issue. Because we cannot resolve this unilaterally.

The US women’s team fight has already produced significant gains for its players in terms of compensation and bonuses, to the point that the US men’s and women’s teams are considered the two highest-paid national teams in the world. And the successes of women, and their public pressure, have led to tangible gains for women around the world. Irish Football Association recently joined Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, England and Brazil by equalizing match fees – the money players are paid by their federations to appear in national team matches – between their men’s and women’s teams.

But many of these deals, some of which are collectively negotiated by an association of single players, only apply to payments from each federation to its players, and ignore the elephant in the room: only the FIFA cash prize for the biggest men’s competition eclipses what the women’s teams win in their own world championships.

The French football federation, for example, received $ 38 million from FIFA, out of a prize pool of around $ 400 million, after its World Cup victory in 2018. A year later, US Soccer received the winner’s share of $ 4 million of a pot of $ 30 million at the Women’s World Cup.

Most federations share these riches with the players who earned them – France paid World Cup bonuses of around $ 350,000 per male player in 2018 – but keep most of the money to support their missions . US Soccer, on the other hand, has long funneled a much higher share of prize money to its teams, a situation that over the years has created a significant wage gap.

This arrangement also meant that while the American men won nothing when they missed out on the 2018 World Cup, the American female players earned six-figure wins. Yet for them and for other players, the wider inequalities in prize money persist. Australia’s deal, for example, guarantees its male and female players only the same percentage of the World Cup prizes, different amounts – a difference that could run into the millions over the term of the agreement.


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