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Bill Addresses 'Unacceptable' Gender Pay Gap in US Soccer

'They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2019 12:33 AM CDT
United States' Megan Rapinoe , center left, celebrates with teammates after their victory in the Women's World Cup final soccer match between US and the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside...   (AP Photo/David Vincent)
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(Newser) – The US women's soccer team has now won four World Cups—four more than the men's team—and a Democratic senator is among those saying the women deserve to be paid at least as much as the men. Sen. Joe Manchin introduced a bill Tuesday that would withhold federal funding from the 2026 men's World Cup, which will be hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico, until the US Soccer Federation agrees to equal pay for both teams, BuzzFeed reports. "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 latest victory is causing public outcry," Manchin said in a statement. "They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly."

Fans chanted "Equal pay!" immediately after the team's victory in the final Sunday, reports CBS. The players say that while they are on a different pay structure from the men's team—they receive a salary plus bonuses, while the men receive bonuses only—they receive less money for playing more games, even though the women's game has brought in more revenue in recent years. The players filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the soccer federation in March. The World Cup victory is a good thing "to have in the back pocket," defender Becky Sauerbrunn tells the Guardian. "But we never wanted to base our case off the success of the women’s team—we wanted it based on the merit of the work we're putting in for the team. But yeah, it’s also helpful to have the public on your side." (Read more US women's soccer stories.)

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