Senate Dems Threaten To Block 2026 World Cup Funds Unless Women Get Equal Pay

(Photo credit FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Senate Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday that seeks to block funding for the 2026 World Cup unless the U.S. Women’s National Team receives the same pay as the men’s team, The Hill reported.

The Give Our Athletes Level Salaries (GOALS) Act, prohibits “the use of funds for the 2026 World Cup unless the U.S. Soccer Federation provides equitable pay to the [U.S.] Women’s National Team and … Men’s … Team.”

The bill would prohibit any funds being allocated to anything involving the 2026 World Cup, including funding for a host city, participating state or local agency, and other restrictions until both teams receive equal pay. (RELATED: ‘I’m Still Paid Less’: Megan Rapinoe Talks About Gender Pay Gap At White House Event)

Senate Democrats threaten to block 2026 World Cup funds unless Women’s Soccer get equal pay

— The Hill (@thehill) June 9, 2021

The U.S. Women’s National Team (WNT) claimed they were not receiving equal pay compared to the men’s national team and in 2020 sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for $66 million. However, a judge dismissed the case on the grounds that the women’s team actually made more money than the men’s team.

Judge R. Gary Klausner highlighted that the women’s team “both played more games and made more money than the MNT (men’s national team) per game,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Klausner also dismissed the case because he said that the women’s team “rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure” as the men.

“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” Klausner wrote according to CBS News.

“We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY,” soccer star Megan Rapinoe tweeted at the time.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin Democratic Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell introduced the GOALS Act.

“The American athletes representing our country on the worldwide stage must be compensated equally — because a gold medal is a gold medal and a World Cup is a World Cup, no matter your gender,” Cantwell stated.

“The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team elevated this issue into the national conversation, but it impacts top athletes in every sport. Let’s start to right this wrong and get this done this Congress,” she said.

North America — Canada, the U.S. and Mexico — are set to jointly host the World Cup in 2026.