NEW YORK (Dispatches) -
United States Soccer Federation president Cindy Parlow Cone has said the body hopes to “equalize” World Cup prize money for its men’s and women’s national teams as part of efforts to settle ongoing litigation with its women footballers.
In an open letter addressed to U.S. fans, Parlow Cone said the gulf in prize money paid out by FIFA in the men’s and women’s tournaments was “by far the most challenging issue” facing U.S.o Soccer in pay negotiations with men’s and women’s teams.
The question of World Cup prize money formed a prominent part of a lawsuit filed by the U..S women’s soccer team in 2019, which accused the USSF of “stubbornly refusing” to pay it’s men and women’s players equally.
A federal judge later rejected the claim of pay discrimination, but the U.S. women have appealed.
The 2019 lawsuit cited the discrepancy in World Cup prize money payments paid to the two teams in 2014 and 2015.
The U.S. men received $5.375 million for reaching the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup, while the women received $1.725 million for winning the 2015 tournament.
The USSF has argued that its hands are tied because the prize money is set by FIFA, which awarded $38 million to France for winning the 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia, but only $4 million to the American women for winning the 2019 Women’s World Cup.