A New Bill Seeks To Prevent Federal Money For The 2026 World Cup Until The USWNT Gets Equal Pay

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While a lawsuit is ongoing in which the USWNT is suing U.S. Soccer over the pay disparity, the fight for equal pay is headed to Capitol Hill. According to the Huffington Post, Senator Joe Manchin, a member of the Democratic Party from West Virginia, introduced legislation on Tuesday that seeks to withhold federal dollars from the United States Soccer Federation until equal pay for the men’s and women’s sides are achieved.

How? Well, with the 2026 World Cup coming to the United States as part of a joint bid with Canada and Mexico, Manchin’s bill would seek to cut off any federal funding that would go towards the event. Jennifer Bendery of HuffPo laid out exactly what it would mean if this bill came to pass.

The bill would cut off “any and all” federal money that would otherwise be spent when the United States co-hosts the men’s World Cup in 2026. That includes funds that go to host cities, participating local and state organizations, U.S. Soccer, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, and the international soccer governing body FIFA.

Manchin reportedly came to champion this cause after he was made aware of the discrepancy in pay by West Virginia women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, who wrote Manchin a letter and cited the on-field success of the women’s team compared to the men, television ratings that showed the women’s World Cup final in 2019 had more viewers in the United States than the men’s World Cup had the year prior, and how in 2016, the women’s side generated revenue while the men saw a revenue loss.

The on-pitch duality of the United States’ two top international soccer teams were on full display on Sunday. While the women’s team won the World Cup for the fourth time in their history and the second time in a row, cementing its status as the best international side in the world, the men’s side fell to Mexico in the final of the Gold Cup, a reminder that it has not been able to ascend to the top of North America.

(Via Huffington Post)