The federation had justified the pay gap between male and female players by the “hostility” of the opposing public during men’s football matches.
The president of the American football federation (US Soccer), Carlos Cordeiro, announced Thursday that he was resigning, after the controversial arguments put forward by the management to refuse equal pay between male and female players. The vice-president of the federation, Cindy Parlow Cone, will succeed him.
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“The arguments and terms used in the document filed with the courts this week strongly offended and hurt, especially the players on our national women’s team, who deserve better. It was unacceptable and inexcusable,” wrote Carlos Cordeiro.
In a document released Tuesday to a Los Angeles court hearing a discrimination complaint, the federation had justified the pay gap by “greater hostility” from the opposing public during men’s football matches. Carlos Cordeiro explained that he disagreed with this argument, and that he should have intervened.
“I did not have an opportunity to review the entire document before it was transmitted, and I accept my responsibility for not having done so. If I had done so, I would have objected to these terms which did not correspond to my deep admiration for our female players or our values, “he wrote. “After discussion with the admiration board, I decided to resign, with immediate effect,” he concluded.
“Flagrant misogyny and sexism used as an argument”
The controversial argument had prompted Cordeiro to first apologize. Coca-Cola, the main sponsor, had strongly criticized the argument. “We are extremely disappointed with the unacceptable and offensive comments made by US Soccer,” the group wrote.
The Americans are dominating world football more than ever, having won four of the eight Women’s World Cups, including the last two in 2015 and 2019. On Wednesday, they won the SheBelieves Cup friendly tournament and signed their 31st consecutive victory against Japan (3-1). “Seeing it as an argument, the blatant misogyny and sexism used as an argument against us, it’s really disappointing,” said star striker Megan Rapinoe after the meeting.