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USMNT slams 'false accounting,' supports women's 'pursuit of fair compensation'

The U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association on Tuesday issued a statement in solidarity with the U.S. Women’s National Team in its pursuit of pay equity and blasted what it called “false accounting” by the president of U.S. Soccer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The USMNT players were not impressed with U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro’s letter made public on Monday,” the statement reads.

“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,” they add. “One way to increase profit unfairly is to refuse to pay national team players a fair share of the revenue they generate.”

In an open letter published Monday, Cordeiro said he asked staff to conduct an analysis of the past 10 years of the federation's financial records. According to the fact sheet the federation published, officials claim the women’s team was paid $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses from 2010 to 2018, and the men were paid $25.4 million.

A spokesperson from the women's team vehemently denied the claim.

The statement from the men's team disputes a claim in Cordeiro’s letter that the USWNT lost $27 million over the past 11 years, saying it was based on “false accounting” due to the Federation’s failure to count the sponsorship, television or marketing revenue generated by both teams and their games.

“What U.S. sports team makes money if they don’t count television, sponsorship and marketing revenue?” the statement reads.

The statement calls the women’s team “right” to pursue legal and congressional solutions to pay inequality and notes that while the Federation correctly points to different payment systems in USWNT players’ contracts, “we do not believe that justifies discrediting the work they do or the real value of their profound impact on the American sports landscape.”

Legislation introduced in the House last week would block World Cup funds unless the pay gap between the teams is resolved.

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