District of Columbia — Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would block federal funds from being used for the 2026 Men’s World Cup unless the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team receives equal pay from the U.S. Soccer Federation. The bill was introduced two days after the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team beat the Netherlands for the Women’s World Cup on Sunday in France.
In a press release, Senator Manchin claims he proposed the measure after receiving a letter from West Virginia Head Women’s Soccer Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. In the letter, Izzo-Brown blasted the pay wage gap between the teams, “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.”
The proposed measure, which can be read here, would include the blocking of 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 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).