Back in March, the United States Women’s National Team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit with an open court to the United States Soccer Federation over their players’ salaries, and how they deserve equal pay.

The USSF’s president Carlos Cordeiro released a statement this week regarding the women’s team’s pay relative to the men’s, saying that the women’s team is not only paid equally to the men’s team, it is in fact paid more. The statement is a collection of both teams’ financial data over almost a decade, and shows the women’s team earned nearly $8 million more than the men’s team over that period, despite the latter group producing 65% of U.S. Soccer’s overall revenue.

The men’s team produces almost two-thirds of the revenue for both teams because of sponsorships, TV deals and overall viewership. The 2015 Women’s World Cup had around 764 million viewers that were added up within the entire tournament, according to the Washington Examiner. Compare that to the 1.1 billion viewers that watched just the 2018 World Cup Final between France and Croatia. The entire men’s World Cup racked up almost 3.6 billion total viewers.

The equal pay issue is complicated at best. According to the statement, the two teams are on entirely different pay structures, which is negotiated in contracts with those parties.

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Molly Levinson, a representative for the women’s team, responded to the statement openly, saying, “this is a sad attempt by the USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress,” she said, according to ESPN. “The USSF has repeatedly admitted that it does not pay the women equally and that it does not believe the women even deserve to be paid equally. This is why they use words like ‘fair’ and ‘equitable,’ not ‘equal,’ in describing pay.”

The USSF also said that from 2009 to 2019, the women’s team has produced a total net loss of $27 million, compared to a $3 million net loss for the men’s team over the same time period.

The USMNT released a statement following the letter the USSF released. “The USMNT players were not impressed with US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro’s letter made public on Monday. The Federation downplays contributions to the sport when it suits them. This is more of the same from a Federation that is constantly in disputes and litigation and focuses on increasing revenue and profits without any idea how to use that money to grow the sport. One way to increase profit unfairly is to refuse to pay national team players a fair share of the revenue they generate,” the statement read, according to ESPN.

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