The sport of soccer is a vibrant environment where athleticism, strategy, and enthusiasm all thrive.

It is an exciting demonstration of human potential, from the enthusiastic enthusiasm of the crowd to the skilled maneuvering on the field. Underneath all the flash and splendor, though, a war that is about far more than soccer itself rages on: the push for equal compensation for women’s soccer players.

The United States House of Representatives approved a measure guaranteeing female athletes from the country equal pay for their participation in international competitions in late 2022. This law was drafted in response to the persistent campaign by the United States Women’s National team (USMWT) for equal pay with the men’s squad.

Certain countries not caught up yet

A 2019 lawsuit against US Soccer brought by American women alleging discrimination on the basis of gender. All players agreed to equal remuneration and a fair split of the 2022 and 2023 World Cup winnings.

In fact, the ongoing Women’s World Cup has been a key forum for discussions on wages. For some time, this has been a hot subject. Yet, the conversation reached a head in the United States when the USMNT qualified for the 2022 World Cup. The USMNT and USWNT agreed to pool their World Cup earnings and split that money.

In a recent news conference, Alex Morgan remarked: “US Soccer has done a great job in supporting us. That’s not the case with a lot of other federations around the world and we know that. We’ll continue to support all of the other players around the world who are fighting the battle that we fought.”

CONMEBOL head doesn’t believe in equal pay for women’s soccer

That’s a stance on women’s pay that doesn’t sit well with Alejandro Dominguez, head of CONMEBOL. While in Sydney, the FIFA vice-president expressed his disagreement with the concept of equal pay during an interview.

“I don’t believe in ‘Equal Pay’. I believe that everything has a ceiling and I think I don’t know the ceiling of women’s football. No one showed us what the ceiling of women’s football is. So, let’s work and see how far we get, because who knows if maybe one day women’s soccer isn’t suddenly better paid than men’s soccer?

“I think that we have to look from the point of view of what the ceiling is and work and believe big and make it like nowhere else in the world. In fact, that is the goal. I think that as we keep giving opportunities and encouraging and motivating competitiveness in women’s football, we will get there in a very short time.

“In fact, we watched the games [at the World Cup] and I think we are very close. We can be world champions this time,” he explained, referring to the CONMEBOL nations present at this summer’s tournament. “So, in the very short term, we are going to see that we will not only match them but that we will surpass them,” he said, via the Spanish newspaper Marca.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo