The US men's and women's national soccer teams will receive equal pay under new contracts that feature an unprecedented split of World Cup prize money, the US Soccer Federation announced Wednesday.
"This is a truly historic moment," US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said. "These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world."
The landmark collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) reached between the federation and its senior national teams will see US Soccer distribute millions of dollars more to its top players through increased match pay and sharing of revenues from ticket sales as well as sponsorship and broadcast deals.
But the revolutionary feature is the stipulation that players from both teams pool and share the otherwise unequal prize money paid by global governing body FIFA for participation in their respective World Cups.
Equalizing World Cup pay had been a major stumbling block given the huge discrepancy in FIFA's payouts for the men's and women's events.
FIFA awarded France $38 million for winning the 2018 men's World Cup but only $4 million to the United States for their 2019 Women's World Cup triumph.
The US men meanwhile received $9 million in prize money at the last World Cup they played in, in 2014, just for reaching the last 16.
The men's team in 2018 -- last placed in the World Cup in Russia -- also received double the prize money of the women's team in 2019 when they were champions.
FIFA has announced that the total bonus pool for this year's men's World Cup in Qatar will be $400 million, while the bonuses for the women's tournament in Australia in 2023 will be $60 million.
In reconciling that discrepancy with the new agreements, US Soccer is living up to it's "One Nation, One Team" tagline, said US forward Midge Purce, who was a member of the bargaining committee for the women's players' association.
"I think we set a new standard of value for women in the workforce," Purce said.
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