Bill would block federal funds for 2026 World Cup until women's team gets equal pay
A Senate bill introduced Tuesday calls for blocking federal funds for the 2026 World Cup until the U.S. Soccer Federation gives equal pay to its women's and men's teams. The legislation comes days at the women's team latest World Cup victory — which fired up their long-running fight for equal pay.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, says no federal money should be used for any aspect of the 2026 World Cup — including support for a host city and for U.S. Soccer — "until the date on which the United States Soccer Federation agrees to provide equitable pay" for the women's and men's players.
Manchin said he was inspired by a letter from the head women's soccer coach at West Virginia University, Nikki Izzo-Brown, who said it was wrong for women players to be paid and valued less for their efforts. "That's just plain wrong," he said in a statement.
U.S. Soccer did not immediately return messages from CBS News. HuffPost first reported on the bill.
Members of the U.S. women's soccer team are suing the federation for alleged gender discrimination due to the major pay discrepancies between the women's and men's team. The cause got an extra kick Sunday when the women's team won its fourth World Cup — while the men's team has yet to win any. Fans in the stadium broke into chants of "Equal pay!" immediately after the U.S. victory.
The players have kept up the pressure since returning home for a ticker-tape parade celebrating their victory.
"Everybody's ready for it. Everybody wants it," the team's co-captain Megan Rapinoe told reporters in New York City. "Everybody is ready for the conversation to be moved to the next piece."
The 2026 World Cup will be hosted in 16 cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico — the first time the soccer tournament will be held in three countries. The host cities have not yet been determined.
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