It has been no secret that the payout received from FIFA for World Cup prize money has been vastly unequal. This particularly applies to the money distributed to U.S. men’s and women’s soccer competitions.
On Friday, U.S. Soccer Federation’s president, Cindy Parlow Cone, sent letters to the players associations of both the men’s and women’s national teams to address the issue. In the letters, Cone asked for agreements between both teams to equalize the prize money received by FIFA for the World Cup.
Excerpts From The Letter
Being a former soccer national team player herself, Cone used her knowledge and experience to call out the prize money issue and bring about a solution. “The massive discrepancy in FIFA World Cup prize money is by far the most challenging issue we continue to face in our parallel negotiations with the men’s and women’s national teams,” Cone stated.
“Within this challenge, we see an opportunity to create change.” Cone stated, “…we need our men’s and women’s national teams to come together and re-think how we’ve done things in the past.”
“…we will make ourselves available to work around the clock with the Players Associations representing our senior national teams to agree to equitable collective bargaining agreements and to equalize World Cup prize money,” Cone wrote towards the end of the letter. “We remain steadfast in our dedication to ensuring equal pay for our national teams.”
Cone also went on to say that FIFA is the responsible party who controls the prize money. However, there have been disputes made by the USWNT that that is not the case, stating U.S. Soccer is the one guilty of not distributing prize money equally.
The USWNT Players Association has already spoken out in regards to the letter. Spokesperson for the USWNT, Molly Levinson, stated “USSF has finally acknowledged that they pay women players less than men players.”
“USSF must correct this ongoing disparity by reaching an equal pay collective bargaining agreement and resolving the ongoing lawsuit. Letters to fans are not a substitute. It’s time to back up a lot of words with some actions,” Levinson said.
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