Women's Sport: President of US Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro resigns over USWNT equal pay dispute

Carlos Cordeiro, the president at US Soccer, has resigned after the outrage expressed at the language used in filings by the federation as part of their defence against the US Women’s National Team’s equal pay case.

In the letter announcing his resignation, Cordeiro wrote: “The arguments and language contained in this week’s legal filing caused great offence and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women’s National Team players who deserve better. It was unacceptable and inexcusable.”

He added that he had not fully reviewed the documents before they were filed. In them, they said that playing for the men’s team “requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength” than the USWNT. They also said the players in the men’s team carry more responsibility within US Soccer than the women. 

After the wording in the documents came to light, the USWNT took to the pitch at their final SheBelieves Cup game against Japan with their warm-up jerseys inside out, hiding the US Soccer badge. They then went on to win the tournament.

A number of the federation’s sponsors had also criticised the wording including VW who tweeted that they were “disgusted by positions taken by US Soccer and they are simply unacceptable”. 

Of Cordeiro’s resignation, Molly Levinson the spokesperson for the USWNT tweeted: “It’s gratifying there’s been a deafening outcry against USSF’s misogyny, but the policies overseen by Cordeiro were approved for years by the USSF BoD. USSF must change and support and pay women players equally.”

Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo echoed this, writing on Twitter: “This could be the first step in a long walk to the future that we’ve been fighting for in American soccer. But for that to hold true, institutional change must follow. Carlos cannot just be a scapegoat for @ussoccer’s public relations.”

The federation’s vice president Cindy Parlow Cone will takeover from Cordeiro, becoming the first woman to lead the organisation. A former USWNT player, Cone was part of the 1999 World Cup-winning team.

Parlow Cone herself had criticised the federation’s wording, tweeting: “I am hurt and saddened by the brief USSF filed. This issue means so much to me, but more broadly to all men & women and, more importantly, to little girls & boys who are our future. I disavow the troubling statements and will continue to work to forge a better path forward.”

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