(Reuters) – The female players who sued the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) for equal pay reported that talks broke down on Wednesday and said they were now turning their attention to the courts where they are “eagerly look forward to a jury trial”.
Some 28 players took USSF to court in March alleging they were consistently paid less than their male counterparts even though their performance has been superior to the men’s team.
The lawsuit outlined years of institutionalised gender discrimination, claiming travel conditions, medical personnel, promotion of games and training are less favourable for female players, who have won the World Cup four times, than for their male counterparts.
The two sides had hoped to resolve the issue in mediation but the women, fresh from defending their World Cup title in France last month, said hopes of a settlement had been dashed.
“Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behaviour,” players’ spokesperson Molly Levinson said in a statement.
“It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men.
“They will not succeed. We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial.”
(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)