U.S. Soccer and players’ associations for the women’s and men’s teams have reached a collective bargaining agreement on equal pay and compensation for all players.
The parties involved announced Wednesday that the agreement reached, which runs through 2028, would equalize pay for all competitions, including World Cup prize money, for both men’s and women’s players. According to a statement released online by U.S. Soccer, under the new terms the U.S. “becomes the first federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money” to both men’s and women’s teams “for participation in their respective world cups.”
Among other terms reached, players will receive equal appearance fees for official competitions. Pay for appearances in friendly competitions will be based on identical tiering structures determined by level of opponent and outcome of match. And revenue earned through broadcast and sponsorships by U.S. Soccer will be split equally between the women’s and men’s teams.
The agreement also makes improvements to non-economic concerns with regards to “player health and safety, data privacy, and the need to balance responsibilities to both club and country.”
“This is a truly historic moment,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow in a letter posted online. “In becoming the first federation in the world to solve the massive and vexing challenge of equalizing FIFA World Cup prize money, U.S. Soccer and our players have changed the game forever here at home, with the hopes of inspiring change around the world.”
The agreement follows a decision in February by the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and U.S. Soccer to end a legal battle over equal pay that women’s players had brought against the Federation. At the time, U.S. Soccer agreed to pay $22 million in compensation to women’s players, and to open discussions of new collective bargaining terms.
“The accomplishments of this CBA [collective bargaining agreement] are a testament to the incredible efforts of WNT players on and off the field,” said Becky Sauerbrunn, USWNT player and president of the USWNT Players’ Association. “The gains we have been able to achieve are both because of the strong foundation laid by the generations of WNT players that came before the current team and through our union’s recent collaboration with our counterparts at the USNSTPA [Men’s National Team] and leadership at U.S. Soccer.”
She added, “We hope that this agreement and its historic achievements in not only providing for equal pay but also in improving the training and playing environment for National Team players will similarly serve as the foundation for continued growth of women’s soccer both in the United States and abroad.”