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22nd Feb 2022

US women players reach $24m-equal pay settlement with US Soccer Federation

Simon Lloyd

“We’ve all been in the trenches of it for so long…”

Players from the United States women’s national team have reached a $24m (£17.7m) settlement agreement with the US Soccer Federation (USSF) after a long-running legal fight.

28 members of the USWNT begun legal action against the federation in 2019, months before successfully defending their Women’s World Cup title, with the lawsuit relating to equal pay and working conditions.

The dispute, however, dates back to 2016, when a complaint was first filed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The agreement reached between the two parties, agreed this month, will see $22m (£16.2m) in back pay split between the 28 players with a further $2m (£1.4m) given to post-playing careers and charitable endeavours. Moving forward, it will also see equal pay divided between the US men’s and women’s teams.

The deal will be ratified once a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has been agreed between the USWNT Players’ Association and the USSF.

2019 Ballon d’Or winner Megan Rapinoe, who captained the US to World Cup victory in France in 2019, welcomed the agreement.

“We’re so happy,” she told  The Athletic.

“We feel like this is a huge win – obviously contingent upon the ratification of the CBA- but it will have equal pay on everything moving forward.

“It’s honestly kind of surreal. I feel like I need to take a step back. We’ve all been in the trenches of it for so long. I think I honestly don’t even understand how monumental this is.”

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