The U.S. Women's National soccer team is gearing up for the start of the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France. Yet looming over the tournament is their lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender pay parity. In their suit, the female players argue that they often play more games than the men, draw impressive ratings and, unlike the men, they consistently win big tournaments.
Former U.S. goalkeeper turned BBC commentator Hope Solo recently said "male chauvinism is entrenched" in FIFA.
"I've done my best to reach out to other federations, and we have put our minds together, but we see that male chauvinism is still apparent," she said.
Ask one of England's football stars and you'll hear a much different take. The Guardian asked Toni Duggan, a forward on England's national team, for her opinion on their own pay gap. Her answer may have surprised them. While she believes her American counterparts are justified in their pursuit for matching wages, she doesn't think the female English football squad deserves as much as the boys because, as she notes, the men's team is "more successful" and "more popular."
“I have a strong opinion on it,” Duggan says of the battle in the US, “and I believe they should be doing it because they’re more successful than their men’s team.” But her views on the disparity in England are very different. “Should we be doing it? No. Because we don’t bring in the money that the men do – we’re not as successful as them yet. They bring in a lot more money than us commercially and are more successful. When people ask me: ‘Should I earn the same money as the men?’ No, I don’t believe I should because they’re on a bigger scale than me, they have more fans, are more popular. I believe the girls should be better paid but not the same as the men.” (The Guardian)
Duggan and the Lionesses start play on Saturday morning against Bangladesh, while the U.S. women kick off their quest to defend their World Cup title against Thailand on Tuesday.