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U.S. women’s soccer team to share in men’s compensation despite round of 16 exit

The world’s number one women’s football team, the United States Women’s National Team, was knocked out of the Women’s World Cup in Australia-New Zealand on 6 June by Sweden in the round of 16. It was a shock for the US, which has won four of the last nine Women’s World Cups and never finished lower than third, but the payout is the biggest ever. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on 9 September that “the women’s team will be paid more than twice as much as the last time they won the tournament”.

This is thanks to the collective bargaining agreement the team signed with the US Soccer Association last year. The U.S. Women’s National Team, which won the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, received $2 million (about $2.6 billion) in prize money. The prize money is distributed by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which collects broadcasting fees from broadcasters around the world and gate receipts. Men’s and women’s football are paid differently. The men’s World Cup (2022 in Qatar) will have a global audience of 5 billion, while the women’s World Cup (2023) will have a global audience of 2 billion, so FIFA sets the prize money for the men’s and women’s World Cups differently. The U.S. men’s national team received $8 million for finishing 15th at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Then US women’s soccer icon Megan Rapinoe, 38, said in 2016, “Equal pay for equal work. It’s unreasonable that we’re paid less than our male counterparts,” she told the federal government in 2016. After the U.S. won its second consecutive Women’s World Cup in France in 2019, Rapinoe joined 28 of her teammates in suing the U.S. Soccer Federation, claiming that “we were compensated less than the men’s team even though we outperformed them every time”. The federation initially argued, “What are you talking about when FIFA pays us less in the first place,” but as the uproar grew, the men’s team persuaded the players to settle, eventually ending the collective bargaining agreement by splitting the men’s and women’s World Cup prize money equally. In essence, the men’s and women’s World Cup winnings would be shared equally, minus a 10 per cent share for the federations. FIFA awarded the U.S. Women’s National Team $2.925 million (about $3.8 billion) for their round of 16 exit, while the U.S. Men’s National Team received $13 million ($17.1 billion) for reaching the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The combined prize money of $14.65 million, minus the federation’s 10 per cent share, is divided in half, leaving the women’s team with $7.325 million (approximately $9.6 billion). That’s more than double the $2.73 million they received for winning the last World Cup in 2019.온라인바카라

As the US raises its flag, the women’s national teams of England, South Africa, Canada, and others are making similar demands. FIFA President Gianni Infantino (53, Switzerland) has pledged to equalise prize money for men and women at the next World Cup, and the football world will be watching closely to see what happens next.

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