Cantwell, Colleagues Introduce Resolution Calling on FIFA to Pay Female Soccer Players Equally

Resolution follows introduction of Cantwell’s bipartisan legislation to guarantee equal pay for American athletes competing on the global stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just weeks after introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure equal pay for athletes representing the United States in global athletic competitions, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, joined her colleagues to introduce a Senate resolution calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to immediately eliminate gender-based pay discrimination between male and female soccer players.

In July, the U.S. Women’s National Team notched its second consecutive World Cup win and fourth overall. Yet the team’s award for winning – $4 million – is just 10.5 percent of the award given to 2018 World Cup winning men’s team, which received $38 million. In fact, FIFA awarded the teams that lost in the first round of the 2018 Men’s World Cup $4 million more in prizes than it will award the U.S. Women’s National Team for winning the 2019 World Cup.

“Winning the World Cup was a statement about where we need to go in recognizing women’s sports,” Cantwell said. “That’s why I introduced the Equal Pay for Team USA Act to say that it is time to give equal pay and benefits to all athletes representing the United States in international athletic competitions.”

In July, Cantwell introduced the Equal Pay for Team USA Act with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to remedy that inequity by requiring that all athletes representing the United States in international athletic competitions receive equal compensation and benefits for their work, regardless of gender. It also requires equal payment for medical care, travel, and expenses. These requirements would apply to 50 different sports national governing bodies, and it requires the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to conduct oversight to make sure they all come into compliance with the legislation.

In addition to Cantwell, the resolution introduced this week was also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

Video of Senator Cantwell speaking at a press conference on equal pay with U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe can be found here, and audio is here.