Thu, Jul 11, 2019 - Page 16 News List

US bill would link 2026 World Cup funds to equal pay

AFP, WASHINGTON

US forward Megan Rapinoe celebrates after their FIFA Women’s World Cup victory against the Netherlands in Lyon, France, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

US government funding for the 2026 World Cup would be denied until the US Soccer Federation provides equal pay for women’s and men’s teams under a bill introduced on Tuesday.

US Senator Joe Manchin submitted the bill to US lawmakers two days after the US women’s team won a second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup title by defeating the Netherlands 2-0 in France.

Fans chanted: “Equal pay, equal pay,” in the stadium after the US’ victory, the squad having filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation in March that made their case for money and support equal to a men’s team with far worse results.

The US is to cohost the 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament along with neighbors Mexico and Canada.

“No federal funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available to provide support for the 2026 World Cup, including support for a host city, a participating state or local agency, the United States Soccer Federation, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), or the Federation de Football Association (FIFA), until the date on which the United States Soccer Federation agrees to provide equitable pay to the members of the United States Women’s National Team and the United States Men’s National Team,” the bill reads.

The US Senate and House of Representatives would have to vote in favor of the measure and US President Donald Trump, who has exchanged barbs on Twitter with US women’s star Megan Rapinoe, would have to sign the bill or have a veto overridden to turn the measure into binding law.

The US women have won many supporters to their side with overwhelming World Cup title runs over the past month in France and four years ago in Canada.

By comparison, the US men on Sunday lost to Mexico in the Gold Cup final among CONCACAF nations and failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup in Russia.

“That’s just plain wrong,” Manchin said of the pay inequality. “The clear unequitable pay between the US men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable and I’m glad the US women’s soccer team’s latest victory is causing public outcry. They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly.”

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