LOS ANGELES (AFP) – All 28 members of the United States (US) women’s national team filed a discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation (USSF) on Friday, just three months before defending their World Cup title.
US midfielders Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, who helped the Americans capture the crown in Canada four years ago, and have them atop the world rankings headed into the 2019 tournament in France, were among those suing the national governing body in the US District Court in Los Angeles for equal pay and working conditions to their less successful male counterparts.
“Despite the fact that these female and male players are called upon to perform the same job responsibilities on their teams and participate in international competitions for their single common employer, the USSF, the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts,” the lawsuit said.
“This is true even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players, with the female players, in contrast to male players, becoming world champions.”
US teams have taken the Women’s World Cup title three times, including the inaugural 1991 edition in China, the 1999 event on home soil and in Canada four years ago.
US men, by comparison, were third in 1930 in the first World Cup but their best showing since was a quarter-finals loss in 2002.
US women players seek millions of dollars in back pay and damages, and have long argued the inequalities compared to men which include quality of venues, number of matches, medical treatment, coaching and training opportunities and transportation.