Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Fans heckle US Soccer president, demand 'equal pay' for World Cup winners

Fans heckle US Soccer president, demand 'equal pay' for World Cup winners

Crowds are chanting "USA!" as they wait for the US women's national soccer team to celebrate its second consecutive World Cup victory with a ticker tape parade in New York City.

Senator Joe Manchin on Tuesday introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate that, if passed, would see the federal government withhold funding for the 2026 World Cup until U.S. Soccer "agrees to provide equitable pay" to both the U.S. men's and women's teams.

During the Women's World Cup, the members who filed the lawsuit announced that they had agreed to mediation and will resolve the issues after they get back to the United States.

FILE - In this October 10, 2017, photo, US player Christian Pulisic, (10) is comforted by assistant coach Dave Sarachan after losing 2-1 against Trinidad and Tobago during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Couva, Trinidad. "It was like, this World Cup win is so much more than what was on the field".

Each member of the US women's national team earned $90,000 in bonuses for reaching the quarterfinals.

They celebrated their World Cup triumph as the crowd hailed the players' emergence as icons of women's rights amid chants of "equal pay", "USA", and streams of confetti. The women also receive fairly meager salaries (under $50,000 annually) as professional soccer players.

Now, it's the women of 2019's turn.

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"But from here on out, we'll just be known as America's team".

"We don't want to have this huge, public, nasty fight, that's not really in the best interest for anyone", said Rapinoe, a U.S.co-captain.

That's not quite enough of a pay increase, according to breakout star Megan Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball as the 2019 World Cup's highest scoring and most valuable player. The suit alleges that the organization discriminated against the women by paying them less than members of the men's national team "for substantially equal work".

Those are sizable figures, of course, but they pale in comparison to the world's best male soccer players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who each earn over $100 million annually and have individual net worths over $400 million. "It's such a special place, and obviously for this to be our first stop back here when we get back to the States, it's incredible", she told CBS New York.

"I would not go and every teammate that I've talked to explicitly about it would not go", Rapinoe responded, prompting Cooper to ask "everyone you've talked to?" The U.S. women's team was regarded as the heavy favorite to win the title this year, and anything less than a championship would be considered a failure.

The U.S. Soccer Federation wrote in a court filing that the two groups are paid differently due to differences in their collective-bargaining agreements.

Star Megan Rapinoe, the Golden Boot and Golden Ball victor at the 2019 World Cup, used her platform immediately following the competition to call for changes as well. He said women's soccer players should be paid the same as male players. "At this moment, they are cultural icons and should be paid as such".

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