The US Women's National Team has hit back at its federation's claims that female soccer players are paid more than men, labelling it "sad" and a "ruse".
Legal action was opened by the USWNT in March in an attempt to make pay for both the USWNT and the US Men's Natoinal Team equal, and Women's World Cup winners such as Megan Rapinoe have championed the cause since leading the country to victory in France.
But the president of U.S. Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro, released an open letter on Monday stating that USWNT players had been payed more than their male equivalents over the last decade.
U.S. men's soccer team players association issues statement supporting U.S. women's "pursuit of fair compensation," and takes issue with US Soccer's accounting in its letter yesterday: https://t.co/4zd2cXMNw1 pic.twitter.com/yXeDqTJLQ6— Rachel Bachman (@Bachscore) July 30, 2019
That claim has been refuted by the women's team, though.
"This is a sad attempt by USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress," a USWNT statement read.
"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.
"The fact is the women's team requested the same compensation structure as the men have, so they would be paid equally for equal performance.
"USSF refused, ordering lower compensation in every category for the women's team in a pay for performance structure.
"That is patently unequal pay. The USSF fact sheet is not a "clarification". It is a ruse. Here is what they cannot deny.
"For every game a man plays on the MNT he makes a higher base salary payment than a woman on the WNT. For every comparable win or tie, his bonus is higher.
"That is the very definition of gender discrimination. For the USSF to believe otherwise is disheartening but it only increases our determination to obtain true equal pay. If the USSF cannot agree to this at the upcoming mediation, we will see them in the court of law and the court of public opinion."
Rapinoe, Golden Boot winner at the World Cup, has consistently voiced her demand for equal pay and met with senators recently to discuss the issue.