The NFL said the agreement makes the United States the first country to achieve equal pay for men’s and women’s soccer teams.
“To finally get to the point where pay is equal in every economic term, I’m really proud,” USSF President Cindy Barlow Kohn said.
The new CBA would equal World Cup bonuses, something Barlow-Kunn said no other country had done. American teams will collect and divide evenly the World Cup rewards they receive from FIFA, in the evening on a largely unequal stadium set up by the world soccer organisation.
“The style of the game will change the look of women’s football in general,” said Margaret Pierce, the women’s national team striker. “It’s historic, and I think it will spark a lot of other things in the sport, not just in the United States but globally.”
So far, American men have had far more World Cup rewards than the four-time champions, even in the years when the men didn’t qualify for a group stage exit at the tournament. FIFA pays more for men’s teams, citing the fact that the men’s tournament brings in much more revenue.
FIFA will continue to pay more money to the associations to participate in the men’s tournament than it pays to the women’s associations. But under the new CBA rules, the federation will no longer pass tournament-specific bonuses to each team.
By agreeing to the CBA, American men are making a fundamental concession: they will likely get less money in World Cup bonuses than they would have previously, especially if they advance deep into the tournament. Women are likely to receive much higher rewards.
The immediate reaction was, “Wait, are we going to give up what we already have?” Men’s national team defender Walker Zimmermann, a member of the players’ union leadership group, said about the new deal. “I totally understand the immediate frustrations. But to get where we are now, I think everyone is really proud to have accomplished this deal and to be the first to do so. [in the world]. “
The Soviet Union, subjected to significant public and legal pressure, said it would not agree to a deal with men that did not equal the World Cup rewards.
The winner of the Men’s World Cup in Qatar will receive $42 million in FIFA’s total prize pool of $440. If it qualified for the round of 16, the US men’s team would receive $13 million.
That’s more than three times what the American woman earned after winning the tournament in 2019, when she earned $4 million out of a total of $30 million in total prize money. The winner’s share of next year’s women’s event in Australia and New Zealand has yet to be finalized, but the total prize money is a proposal of $60 million, a fraction of the men’s total.
In 2019, . was released Australian men’s and women’s teams have agreed For equal pay and work structures, but not when it comes to World Cup bonuses. Under the Australian agreement, teams get the same percentage of the bonus, but the men are willing to bring more money home due to FIFA’s unequal payments. Norway has also made significant gains in balancing wages.
“We must collectively push FIFA to achieve equal working conditions and award prize money to the World Cup twice,” said Pearce. “It is amazing what the guys have done; it is appreciated. But we must pay FIFA.”
Along with World Cup money, the agreements will end the guaranteed salaries of female players and instead pay them the same rates as men for achievements such as roster selection and team performance. Men were not paid by the Social Security Fund, an issue that complicated women’s argument for equal pay.
For similar tournaments not related to the World Cup, players on both teams will also receive equal amounts of the total prize money. Teams will also share a portion of USSF’s broadcast, partner and sponsorship revenue and receive a share of revenue from tickets sold to USSF-organized home matches. Both teams will receive rewards for games that have been sold.
CBAs also guarantee equal playing fields, staff, charter flights and hotel accommodations.
Agreements come three months after the American woman Reached a $24 million settlement With the USSF, to end the six-year-old issue of gender discrimination that has resonated with American sports and beyond.
The settlement was effectively an acknowledgment that the Soviet Union did not pay the women’s team equally. The women had sought more than $66 million in back pay, but suffered a major setback in 2020, When the district judge ruled They agreed on a different pay structure than the men’s team, and in fact, made more money overall than the men.
The NFL argued that paying the same bonuses to women for winning the World Cup they promised the men would bankrupt the Chicago-based nonprofit. But the women said the federation was obligated to pay their wages equally regardless of FIFA’s bonus structure.
“The collaboration was really amazing,” Barlow Kohn, a former star player, said of the negotiations. “There were tough talks and tough times, and yes, there were moments that I thought were going to fall apart. But I’m really proud of where we are at, and I’m proud of the men’s team for what they’ve done, and I’m proud of the players who continue to carry the torch for all the women.”
The men were playing under CBA terms that expired in December 2018. The women’s CBA expired this spring.
Zimmerman said he believes the deal will create a bond between the teams, which have operated largely independently of each other for decades.
“We root too hard for them; they root too hard for us,” he said. “It wasn’t like that in the past. We are excited about this partnership. It really feels like a sense of symbiosis, which will also translate off the pitch with the sheer camaraderie and passion for the game and the development of the sport here.”
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