U.S. Soccer, women’s team tentatively agree to mediate lawsuit

22 Juin, 2019, 19:38 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion

The suit, filed in federal court on March 8, seeks equitable pay and treatment, in addition to damages including back pay for the team, which has won three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals. In the complaint, attorneys for the players argued that the USSF provided the women's players inferior wages, working conditions and investment in their game despite doing essentially the same job as the USA men's national team.

Both sides are interested in resolving the long-standing disagreement over pay and working conditions via mediation rather than a courtroom, according to two people with knowledge of each parties' thinking.

"While we welcome the opportunity to mediate, we are disappointed the plaintiffs' counsel felt it necessary to share this news publicly during the Women's World Cup and create any possible distraction from the team's focus on the tournament and success on the field", a U.S. Soccer spokesperson said.

The mediation is set to take place after the World Cup ends, with the USWNT now set to face Spain on Monday in the last 16 after winning all three of their group-stage matches, setting a record in the process. "We look forward to everyone returning their focus to the efforts on the field as we aim to win another title".

U.S. Soccer and Levinson did not immediately respond to requests for comment by Reuters.

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The lawsuit alleges "institutionalized gender discrimination" toward the team.

On the contrary, the US women have set scoring records since launching defense of their World Cup title in Reims, France, on June 11.

The U.S. women's team, which have not conceded a goal at this year's World Cup, finished atop Group F with a 3-0 record to set up a last-16 clash with Spain on Monday. It notes that the women's players are required to play more games than the men's team and win more of those games yet still receive less pay from the federation.

That said, it is hard to directly compare the salaries of the USA women to that of the men, because they are compensated under different contract structures.

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