US women's football team: mediation over in equal pay bid

Carli Lloyd (Getty Images)
Carli Lloyd (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - US women's football players reached an impasse Wednesday in mediation with the US Soccer Federation in their dispute over equal pay with the American men's squad.

Molly Levinson, a spokesperson for the US women's players, said the group will "eagerly look forward to a jury trial."

The Americans captured their second consecutive Women's World Cup title last month in France, chants of "Equal Pay" ringing in the air after their victory in the championship game.

In March, 28 US players filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer. They agreed to mediation after the Women's World Cup.

"We entered this week's mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope," Levinson said in a statement. "Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the federation's determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior.

"It is clear that USSF, including its board of directors and president Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed.

"We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial.

"The world looks to the US to lead and the players would like to tell the world that the USSF pays women equally to men. The goal is equal pay."

A US Soccer spokesman said the group is "continuing to work to find a resolution" to the dispute.

US women seemed to leave open the option for more discussion in an open letter earlier this week.

"While we are prepared to take our equal pay fight through a trial if necessary, we believe that both sides would benefit from an equal pay and equal working conditions settlement now," it said in part.

Cordeiro said last month US Soccer had compensated women more than men over the past decade but women said the figures were misleading, noting they included salaries for National Women's Soccer League teams.

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