The US Soccer Federation has announced it has offered identical contract proposals to the players associations of the men’s and women’s national teams.
The USSF said in a statement that the offer was ‘with the goal of aligning the men’s and women’s senior national teams under a single collective bargaining agreement (CBA) structure.’
The unions for the men and women’s team are currently separate and have no obligation to bargain jointly or to agree to similar terms. The men’s contract expired in December 2018 while the women’s runs through until December this year.
The USSF added: ‘US Soccer firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams.
‘This proposal will ensure that USWNT and USMNT players remain among the highest paid senior national team players in the world, while providing a revenue sharing structure that would allow all parties to begin anew and share collectively in the opportunity that combined investment in the future of US Soccer will deliver over the course of a new CBA.’
In 2019 players from the women’s team, led by Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, put their names to a lawsuit against the USSF over equal pay and working conditions.
In May last year the claim for equal pay was thrown out by a federal judge, and an appeal was subsequently launched.
An agreement between the USSF and the women’s team over working conditions has been reached.
The statement also said the federation was calling upon the players and both player associations to join it in ‘finding a way to equalise FIFA World Cup prize money between the USMNT and the USWNT.’
‘US Soccer will not agree to any collective bargaining agreement that does not take the important step of equalising FIFA World Cup prize money,’ it said.
The men’s union were asked to voluntarily equalise World Cup bonus money paid to the federation by FIFA last week.
FIFA awarded $400million dollars (£289m) in prize money for the 32 teams at the 2018 men’s World Cup with $38m (£27m) going to champions France. They awarded $30m for the 24 teams at the Women’s World Cup in 2019, with $4m (£2.9m) going to the US, who won the competition.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed the federation double the prize money for the Women’s World Cup in 2023, with the total for the men’s World Cup in 2022 rising to $440m (£318m).
The male players in the US team got $55,000 (£39,700) each for making the 2014 World Cup, then split $4.3m (£3.1m) for earning four points during the group stage and reaching the knockouts, which came to around $187,000 (£135.2m) per player.
The women’s team split $862,500 (£623,712) for making the 2019 World Cup and $2.53m (£1.83m) for winning it. This amounted to $147,500 (£106,663) per player.
If they had been eliminated in the last 16, the same stage reached by the men, the bonus for each player under their deal would have been $37,500 (£27,117).
The women’s players also received payments for a post-World Cup tour which they split: $350,000 (£253,100) per game if they won, $300,000 (£216,943) if they finished second and $250,000 (£180,786) if they were third.