Game Time: USA versus Netherlands 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup Final. (Photo by Marina Nascimento)
Harvard-Westlake High School

The role of equal pay in the Women’s World Cup

As I entered the crowded metro with masses of American fans all waiting to arrive at the stadium for the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, rather than sporting the typical United States soccer jersey, many fans opted to spark awareness for a widely ridden controversy within the female soccer world: equal pay.

When the first World Cup rolled around in the year of 1991, there was a clear discrepancy between the female and male athletes, according to Forbes Magazine.

Proven by having the most wins in the history of Women’s World Cup according to FIFA, the U.S. females have consistently been known for having one of the strongest, if not the strongest, team out of the female teams participating in the World Cup.

Whereas, the American men have never secured a spot in the final in any word cup or even secured a place in every World Cup, based on the previous tournament results provided by FIFA. Yet despite these facts, the men have been repetitively paid an excess amount than the women.

Looking at recent statistics provided by Forbes, the female soccer players each earned $4 million for their fourth title win in the 2019 World Cup, while if the men were to win, they would be guaranteed a minimum $38 million bonus.

In addition, the United States Soccer Federation, made the gap in pay more evident when it was shown that their 2014 participation in the World Cup earned each player $5.3 million, despite failing to make it past the round of 16.

The people which agree that men and women deserve the pay they currently get often rest their argument on the idea that men’s soccer has higher amounts of popularity than women’s soccer in the U.S.

Decades ago, that might’ve been the case, but in recent times and the present day, U.S. Women’s soccer’s popularity has surpassed that of the men’s.

For starters, the best selling team jersey in the U.S. was the U.S. women’s national team jersey making it more than obvious that they have millions of fans and supporters. In addition, the women’s national team made a profit of over $17 million for the USSF.

The myriad amounts of inspiration and success that the U.S. women’s national team has given and earned to aspiring athletes has gone above and beyond that of any other U.S. men’s soccer team, making it clear cut that they deserve better pay then they are currently receiving.

With an increased awareness from the American population on equal pay for women in all sports, and efforts to create bills in the wake of this issue, there is hope that the women’s soccer team success will one day earn them the pay they deserve.