Manchin pushes to withhold funding for 2026 World Cup until US women's team gets equal pay

Manchin pushes to withhold funding for 2026 World Cup until US women's team gets equal pay
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Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSchumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures O'Rourke: Many Democrats 'complicit' in gun problem The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution MORE (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would withhold federal funds for the 2026 World Cup unless the men’s and women’s national teams are given equal pay.

Manchin, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he introduced the legislation after receiving a letter from West Virginia University women’s soccer head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown urging him to support the U.S. women’s national team as it pushes to get the same pay as the men’s team.

The issue has gained renewed attention following the U.S. national team's victory Sunday over the Netherlands at the World Cup, a game that drew more viewers than the men's World Cup final last year between France and Croatia.

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“I received a letter from Coach Izzo-Brown highlighting her worries that women on the WVU Women’s Soccer Team could one day make the U.S. women’s team and not get paid the same as the men’s team. That’s just plain wrong,” Manchin said in a statement.

“The clear unequitable pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable and I’m glad the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team latest victory is causing public outcry. They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly. I’m encouraging everyone to call their Senator and Representatives to help us get this bill passed and finally create a level playing field for all.”

Manchin’s bill, if passed, would threaten to cut off any and all funds for host cities and participating local and state organizations, the U.S. Soccer Federation, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The 2026 World Cup will be jointly held in the U.S, Mexico and Canada. 

The women’s national team has sought to highlight the issue of inequitable pay, filing a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation on International Women’s Day in March accusing the organization of “institutionalized gender discrimination” including inequity in pay, practice time, practice locations, medical treatment, coaching and travel.

According to unsurfaced documents, each player on the U.S. women's national team could receive about $260,000 in maximum earnings for winning the Women's World Cup, while each player on the U.S. men's national team could have earned nearly $1 million if their team had won the tournament.