After ongoing efforts to highlight the pay disparity between professional female and male soccer players, the U.S. women's national soccer team announced on Wednesday that it had struck a new labor deal with the sport's governing body, CNN reported. As part of the deal, the female players will receive better hotel and travel accommodations and be reimbursed for the years when their per diems were less than those of the men.
An anonymous source confirmed the outline of the deal to CNN, though details weren't immediately released.
The five-year deal runs through 2021, meaning it will cover their participation in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2020 Olypmics. The women's soccer team is the current reining FIFA champs, having won the 2015 tournament final against Japan.
"We are proud of the hard work and commitment to thoughtful dialogue reflected through this process, and look forward to strengthening our partnership moving forward," a joint statement said.
WATCH | The U.S. women's national soccer team wins the 2015 FIFA cup.
According to The New York Times, the deal was ratified in a conference call on Tuesday night--the same day as Equal Pay Day. The deal could bring about sweeping changes, and players could double their incomes to between $200,000 and $300,000 in a given year, and even more in a World Cup year.
The changes follow a complaint filed by five players in March. Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn brought a complaint against U.S. Soccer before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That complaint has yet to be resolved.
The U.S. women's soccer team isn't the only entity to highlight the pay disparity compared to their male counterparts. In March, the U.S. women's hockey team staged a boycott in which they refused to attend the world championships unless they saw better pay. A deal ultimately averted the boycott. On Monday, the team beat Finland to secure their semifinal spot on Thursday.
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