Lawmaker: US women paid millions less than men for World Cup

Lawmaker: US women paid millions less than men for World Cup
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The winners of the Women's World Cup will be paid four times less than the losers of the men’s soccer tournament, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Monday.

The U.S. women’s national team that won the World Cup 5-2 on Sunday night will receive $2 million per player for the victory, Maloney said. That’s much less than the roughly $8 million given to players eliminated in the first round of the men’s tournament, she said.

Maloney wrote to the president of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Sepp Blatter, Monday to urge him to revise what she called its “discriminatory policy.”

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“This year’s World Cup proved that women playing soccer can inspire a country and bring a crowd to its feet just as men can. But women will never achieve equality in the sport if FIFA itself discriminates against them,” Maloney wrote in the letter.

Maloney accused FIFA officials of making excuses for the pay gap by arguing that there have been more soccer tournaments for men than women over the years.

“Instead of continuing this unfair treatment, FIFA should follow the example set by tennis,” Maloney said, pointing out that male and female tennis players are paid equally at Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open and the U.S. Open.

“You have the opportunity and responsibility to follow this example. FIFA’s mission is to develop 'football everywhere and for all.' It does not discriminate, and neither should you,” Maloney said.

“It is unfortunate but true that women around the world are accustomed to earning less for the same work.”