US World Cup star Megan Rapinoe calls on Gianni Infantino and the USSF to commit to equal pay for women

Mon, Jul 08 2019

Rapinoe was part of the US side that won the World Cup four years ago in Canada. Credit: Jamie Smed/Jamie Smed Photography/Creative Commons

US World Cup star Megan Rapinoe has called on the sport’s governing bodies to take action on equal pay following the nation’s unprecedented fourth title win on Sunday.

The Reign winger was presented with the Golden Boot award by FIFA president Gianni Infantino following the United States’ 2-0 win over the Netherlands at Park Olympique Lyonnais.

Rapinoe scored her sixth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot to seal the top goalscorer award ahead of teammate Alex Morgan and England’s Ellen White.

All three scored six goals but, with Rapinoe and Morgan tied with three assists, 34-year-old triumphed based on having played fewer minutes in the competition.

And she used her platform to call on Infantino and United States Soccer Federation head Carlos Cordeiro to recognise the massive growth of the game with more equitable pay arrangements.

Infantino has committed to doubling the prize pot for the Women’s World Cup to €53 million for the 2023 competition, as well as increasing the number of teams from 24 to 32.

However that sums pales in comparison to the €390 million that teams will fight over at the men’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The US will share less than €4 million for their feat this year – twice what they earned in 2015 – but France’s men’s team took €34 million for their success in Russia 12 months ago.

Fans in the stadium were heard to chant ‘equal pay’ during the final in support of Rapinoe’s pre-match statements raising the issue.

The United States team took legal action against the USFF earlier this year over the disparity in pay and conditions and haven’t ruled out taking further steps.

“Everyone’s asking what’s next and what we want to come all of this — it’s to stop having the conversation about equal pay and are we worth it,” Rapinoe said after the game.

“What are we going to do about it? Gianni, what are we going to do about it? Carlos [Cordeiro, USFF president], what are we going to do about it? Everyone.

“It’s time to sit down with everyone and really get to work. This game has done so much for all of us, we’ve put so much into it. I think it’s a testament to the quality on the field.

“I don’t think everything else is matching that. How we do get everything to match up and push this forward because I think at this point the argument that we have been having is totally null and void.

“It’s time to move that conversation forward to the next step. A little public shame never hurt anybody, right?”