Less than two weeks after the U.S. Women's National Soccer team won the Women's World Cup, dozens of House Democrats have proposed a resolution calling on soccer's governing body to pay women soccer players as much as men are paid.
The resolution, from Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., notes that the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, awarded just $15 million in total to the 24 teams that competed in the Women's World Cup, but awarded $576 million to the 32 teams in last year's Men's World Cup.
"FIFA awarded $35 million to the team that won the 2014 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $2 million to the team that won the 2015 Women's World Cup," the resolution stated. Germany won the men's cup last year.
It also stated that FIFA gave $8 million in prize money to each team that lost in the first round of the 2014 Men's World Cup — $6 million more than what the U.S. women's team won this year for winning the World Cup.
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"It baffles me to think the United States women's soccer team or any women's World Cup champion would be compensated significantly less than their male counterparts," Sanchez said Wednesday. "Players should be rewarded for their performance rather than their gender."
"It's time for FIFA to correct this disparity between male and female athletes," she added. "We should send the message to girls and young women around the world that we value their hard work the same as men."
FIFA didn't respond to questions from the Washington Examiner about how it structures payouts. While some of the pay disparity may have to do with ratings, the resolution noted that the this year's Women's World Cup final had 25 million viewers in the U.S., "making it more widely viewed than the Major League Baseball World Series or the National Basketball Association finales."
The resolution urges FIFA to "immediately eliminate gender pay inequality and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve." It also says the House supports an end to all pay inequities in the workplace, including athletic competitions.
The House resolution has 33 Democratic co-sponsors, and is the same as one sponsored by Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt.