ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The US Women's World Cup Soccer Team accuses the US Soccer Federation of discrimination. Two members of the team are from St. Louis.
They've filed a complaint with the equal employment opportunity commission claiming un-safe work conditions, having to play on artificial turf when the men never do. The biggest issue they say is pay.
In 2015 the Us Women`S World Cup team set records for TV ratings and attendance. The players claim they overtook the men`s team as the main economic engine for US Soccer. Exceeding revenue projections by as much as $16 million dollars. Yet, they`re paid much less than the men.
"That`s been kind of the argument. In the past is, `well the women don`t bring in the same revenue as the men make, so they`re not going to make as much money`. Well, the past year and the projected earnings this year as well as that the women are going to make than the men." said Woman`s World Cup player Lori Chalupny.
Lori Chalupny now coaches at Maryville, retiring after the 2015 championship run.
Fellow St. Louisan Becky Sauerbrunn Says the men`s players were paid about 4 times more than the women - even though the men failed to even make it to the championship round. The women claim the men`s bonus per player would have been nearly $400,000 had they won the World Cup. THe women`s bonus was more than 5 times less: $75,000.
A sports economist who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis says more than just one season likely comes into play here.
"If you look in a longer period of time, the men`s revenue may be more, but the pay disparity is probably too large. I`m sure the women have a valid point." said Patrick Rishe.
"The heart of the matter is just respect. Our kind of mantra is, equal play equal pay. We have the same work requirements as the men. We have a minimum of 20 games. We travel as much as they do." said Women`s World Cup Player Becky Sauerbrunn.
A statement from US Soccer cites its unwavering commitment to women's soccer. A ruling may take 6 months.