KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: World football federation FIFA is keeping a close eye on developments in Los Angeles where the United States women’s team have launched a lawsuit against US Soccer.
The US are favourites to retain the Women’s World Cup at the finals in France in June but their legal action could complicate matters.
Formal statutes of not only FIFA but all its member associations insist that any disputes should be resolved within the sport’s administrative system and not in the civil courts.
Issues such as direct commercial and employment contracts fall into a grey area into which football’s regulatory bodies are cautious of entering for fear of upsetting the balance of legal parameters.
Last Friday the US women’s team marked International Women’s Day to launch their legal action against the USSF for paying them less than the men and refusing them equal training, travel and playing conditions.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles three years after several players filed a similar complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The players, who includes other stars such as Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, say they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performances have been superior.
Interestingly, the lawsuit is supported by a fellow USSF employee in team coach Jill Ellis.
A FIFA spokesperson said: “Since this is an internal matter of US Soccer, we are unable to comment but we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.”