US women’s soccer legend Brandi Chastain hopes equal pay deal will set standard across the board

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A landmark deal announced by the U.S. Soccer Federation Wednesday puts an end to the long battle for equal pay, agreeing to pay its women’s team players the same as the men’s team.

“Our 99 group has just been celebrating in our little text chat, the heart emojis, and the muscles and the fist bumps,” said Chastain.

From her historic World Cup kick in 1999 to this historic day, Chastain said the landmark agreement is a relief.

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“It was so exhausting how many times we had to have the same conversation over and over- and I feel so much lighter right now,” said Chastain.

The new deal will mean millions for U.S. Women National Team players, closing the pay gap in prize money between what soccer’s governing body – FIFA awards for the men’s and women’s World Cups.

Under the collective bargaining agreements, the teams will pool the prize money from their World Cup appearances and split the total among the two teams and the federation. U.S. Soccer will also divvy up television revenue and ticket sales equally.

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“It’s game changing moment here in the U.S., but it has the potential to change how international soccer and international sport do business with the equalization of prize money for our men’s and women’s World Cup,” said Cindy Parlow Cone, U.S. Soccer president.

Chastain believes the deal transcends the soccer field and is hopeful it helps set an example of equal pay across the board.

“This is not about one team in one country. This is about us as a collective about what can happen in every single corner of the world,” said Chastain, noting she’s proud of the generations of players who didn’t give up the fight.

“Down deep in my heart I knew that we are significant as people, as players, as a movement, as a game – there’s no denying that.”

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