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USA star Rapinoe tells Fifa president she wants action on equal pay

Gianni Infantino congratulated the player, and she had a message for him.

Megan Rapinoe and Gianni Infantino.
Megan Rapinoe and Gianni Infantino.

MEGAN RAPINOE WANTS action on the issue of equal pay after helping the United States to a fourth Women’s World Cup final triumph.

USA beat Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on Sunday to retain their title, Rapinoe scoring a second-half penalty before Rose Lavelle found the net too.

At the next World Cup in 2023, Fifa president Gianni Infantino wishes to double the prize money to $60million, yet at the men’s competition in 2022, teams in Qatar will have a pot of $440m.

Rapinoe, who spoke at length on the issue prior to Sunday’s final, revisited the matter again having collected her Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards for the tournament’s top scorer and best player.

She also called for action from the US Soccer Federation (USFF), with the players in Jill Ellis’ team having taken legal action against the governing body earlier this year over pay disparity.and working conditions.

Everyone’s asking what’s next and what we want to come all of this — it’s to stop having the conversation about equal pay and are we worth it,” Rapinoe said.

“What are we going to do about it? Gianni, what are we going to do about it? Carlos [Cordeiro, USFF president], what are we going to do about it? Everyone. It’s time to sit down with everyone and really get to work.

“This game has done so much for all of us, we’ve put so much into it. I think it’s a testament to the quality on the field.

I don’t think everything else is matching that. How we do get everything to match up and push this forward because I think at this point the argument that we have been having is totally null and void.”

She added in the post-match press conference: “It’s time to move that conversation forward to the next step. A little public shame never hurt anybody, right?”

Rapinoe, who scored six times in France, was presented with both of her individual prizes by Infantino on the pitch after the game.

Asked what they spoke about, she replied: “Just pleasantries. There was a wry smile in there, for sure. He knows that I know.

“I think he did say, ‘Let’s have a conversation’. I said, ‘I’d love to’.”

Infantino would also have heard fans in the stadium chanting ‘equal pay’ while he was on the pitch.

Rapinoe and her USA team-mates will share a pot of $4m for winning the tournament, with France’s men’s squad earning $38m for triumphing in Russia last year.

“Love it,” Rapinoe said of the chants.

“To have a full stadium in a foreign country, the movement is just swelling before our very eyes.

Obviously you have the president of France there [Emmanuel Macron], the president of Fifa, you have our [USFF] president, delegates from all over the world.

“This is what the people want, give the people what they want, always.”

Trump Departs the White House United States President Donald J. Trump (file pic). Source: Ron Sachs

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Sunday congratulated the US women’s team for their World Cup victory, saying the country is “proud of you all.”

“Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play,” Trump tweeted.

Rapinoe had earlier vowed to stay home if Trump invites the team to Washington, and she urged her teammates to join her in protesting the president’s policies and character.

Trump responded on Twitter that “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team.”

Championship US sports teams are traditionally honoured with an invitation to the White House, though Trump has at times revoked invitations after team members criticised him. 

Among the teams that have declined the offer have been pro basketball’s Golden State Warriors and last year’s Super Bowl winners, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL).

Additional reporting by AFP

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