US women's football team talks with national federation over equal pay break down

The US women's football team prepare to lift the 2019 World Cup on the podium
The USA beat the Netherlands 2-0 to win the World Cup for a fourth time in July

The United States women's football team say they are prepared to take their discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer to court after mediation talks broke down.

The US women's team (USWNT) began legal action against the US Soccer Federation (USSF) over equal pay in March, four months before retaining the World Cup.

The parties met in New York this week.

"We entered this week's mediation full of hope," said players' spokesperson Molly Levinson.

"We must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the federation's determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behaviour."

All 28 USWNT members filed the lawsuit, which alleged they had been consistently paid less than their male counterparts despite superior performance to the men's team, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

In July, the USSF said the women's team had been paid more than the men over the last decade.

The women, who won a fourth World Cup title in France this summer, responded by saying the numbers were "utterly false" and accusing the federation of a "ruse" before both sides agreed to mediation talks.

After no resolution and with no further talks planned, Levinson said in a statement on Wednesday that it is "clear" that USSF and president Carlos Cordeiro "fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men".

"They will not succeed - we want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial," she added.

USSF said the statement is "inflammatory" and that it wanted to "continue discussions in good faith".

"We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement," said USSF.

"Unfortunately, instead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs' counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion.

"Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith."

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