U.S. soccer proposes men’s, women’s teams negotiate together on bonuses

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Cindy Parlow Cone wants the men’s and women’s national teams to negotiate together on their World Cup bonuses.

In a letter sent out to the public on Friday, Cone and U.S. Soccer proposed a new round of negotiations, aiming to bring together both teams and the federation to negotiate a single CBA.

The hopes would be that they could negotiate a split of the World Cup prize money granted to them by U.S. Soccer.

“Until FIFA equalizes it, it’s going to be those three parties that will have to come together to find a solution,” Cone said.

“U.S. Soccer will be offering the USMNT and the USWNT the exact same contract, just as we have in past negotiations,” she wrote in the letter. “That means offering CBAs that include equalized FIFA prize money, identical game bonuses and identical commercial and revenue sharing agreements.”

In combining the negotiation process, U.S. Soccer hopes to take aim at resolving the ongoing legal battles that have embroiled the USWNT.

But the leader of the women’s team’s players association called the idea that U.S. Soccer has offered equal contracts in the past “simply false.”

“If the USSF was serious about equal pay, they would not engage in publicity stunts which fall short of addressing our issues,” said Becca Roux, the executive director of the USWNT Players Association, in a statement. “We are interested in negotiating in good faith to get a fair deal for our players and will not let them use our fight for equality to create a divide between the women and men.”

Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the women’s players, said in a statement that U.S. Soccer “has finally acknowledged that they pay women less than men and must correct this ongoing disparity by reaching an equal pay collective bargaining agreement and resolving the ongoing lawsuit.”

“Letters to fans are not a substitute,” she added. “It’s time to back up a lot of words with some actions.”