US men's and women's national football teams offered identical contracts
It's been an ongoing dispute that has involved lawsuits
USA's men's and women's national football teams have been offered identical contracts by the US Soccer Federation, with the hope of resolving the ongoing gender pay dispute.
The United States Soccer Federation have said that operating a single equal pay structure is "the best path forward."
"This proposal will provide a revenue sharing structure that would allow all parties to begin anew and share collectively in the opportunity that combined investment in the future of US Soccer will deliver over the course of a new collective bargaining agreement," the statement added.
The announcement signals a step forward in a dispute that has included a lawsuit - which was dismissed with an appeal pending - from the women's team in May 2020.
A total of 28 USA women's national team players signed the lawsuit, seeking $66m (£52.8m) in damages under the Equal Pay Act.
As well as offering equal contracts to their sides, the USSF have asked for support from players and their unions in attempting to 'equalise' World Cup prize money.
To be clear, the women's soccer players have specifically complained about the "gender pay gap" in the FIFA prize money. They want equal pay to the men, even though the men's World Cup earns 50 or 60 times the amount in revenue. We're talking 6 billion vs 100 some million.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) July 8, 2019
In September, USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone wrote an open letter and stated that "the massive discrepancy" in the prize money received by winning the World Cup is "by far the most challenging issue" in the negotiations with the teams.
"Until Fifa equalises the prize money that it awards to the men's and women's World Cup participants, it is incumbent upon us to collectively find a solution," said Cone.
Previously, the USSF stated that the bonuses the women's team receive following a World Cup tournament cannot be the same as those that the men receive because there are 'huge differences' in the payments made to federations by Fifa for men's and women's tournaments.
In a statement, the federation said: "US Soccer will not agree to any collective bargaining agreement that does not take the important step of equalising Fifa World Cup prize money."
As the men's and women's unions are separate, they have no obligation to bargain together or agree alike terms under United States law.
In the instance that either party fails to agree to a new deal, US Soccer have said that each union would be invited to be present at negotiations - providing full transparency.