CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Senator Joe Manchin has introduced a bill that would prevent any federal funds from being used toward the 2026 Men’s World Cup in the United States until the U.S. Soccer Federation agrees to provide equal pay to the men’s and women’s national teams.
Manchin decided to introduce his bill after he received a letter from the West Virginia University Women’s Soccer Head Coach, Nikki Izzo-Brown emphasizing her worries that women on the WVU Women’s Soccer Team could one day make the national team and face these issues.
“The clear unequitable pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable,” Manchin said, “and I’m glad the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team latest victory is causing public outcry. They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly.”
The bill would also include any and all funds provided to host cities; participating local and state organizations; the U.S. Soccer Federation, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and FIFA.
This legislation also comes days after the U.S. Women’s National Team was victorious in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Lyon, France. The team held a 2-0 lead against the Netherlands. This was the fourth overall World Cup championship for the U.S. Women’s team and their second consecutive after winning the 2015 World Cup four years prior.
Here is the letter that Nikki Izzo-Brown sent to Manchin:
Dear Senator Manchin,
Hello! I am writing this letter requesting your support of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team fight for equal pay. The inequality of pay is unjust and this wage gap with the US men’s national team has to stop. The women have won four titles, men none; the women’s viewership in the FIFA World Cup final outdrew the men in the United States by over three million ( men 11.4 , women 14.3). Also, the women’s national team made revenue in 2016 where the men made a net loss.
Working with women as the Women’s Soccer Coach at West Virginia University for over twenty four years and earning 17 Conference Championships, 20 NCAA appearances, and producing 25 professional players, I believe first hand, it is wrong for the US Soccer women to be paid and valued less for their work because of gender.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Head Women’s Soccer Coach
West Virginia University
The full bill can be viewed here.