Men’s team blasts US Soccer, backs women’s equal pay fight

Washington, Feb 13 (AFP) The US men’s national team blasted the US Soccer Federation in support of the equal pay fight by the American women’s squad, the reigning World Cup champions.
In a blistering statement released on the website of the US National Soccer Team Players Association, the US men’s national team union, the squad backed their female counterparts in their ongoing fight for equal money and support from US Soccer.
“The Federation has been working very hard to sell a false narrative to the public and even to members of Congress,” the statement said on Wednesday.
“They have been using this false narrative as a weapon against current and former members of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT).”
A group of 28 players from the US women’s national team has filed a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer with a trial expected to begin in May.
“The Federation continues to discriminate against the women in their wages and working conditions,” the statement said.
“They’re trying to protect their monopoly, their massive revenue streams, and their continued ability to exploit US national team players. It’s time for this to stop.”
Near the message’s end, the US men declared: “Soccer is perhaps the most corrupt sport in the World. We do not want a US Soccer Federation that behaves like FIFA.”
Male players attacked US Soccer’s complete control over who can play on national teams as a way to support unequal treatment and blunt critics.
“Historically, the federation has used that monopoly power as a weapon against the players,” the statement said.
“For many years they refused to pay players at all. The federation benefitted from ticket sales, sponsorship, and merchandising while paying players as little as possible.
“At the same time, every training session and game carries the risk of injury.”
The men cited the troubled labor history between US players and the federation, noting players have had to threaten and sometimes employ walkouts to gain pay hikes and benefit increases.
“The federation has justified its unreasonable proposals by claiming its financial future was uncertain,” the US players said.
“The federation still claims it cannot afford to pay the players a fair share of the federation’s revenue from selling the efforts of those players to fans, sponsors, and television.”