One Major League Soccer head coach has given his say on the issue regarding equal pay for men and women in soccer.
Atlanta United’s Frank de Boer may be in his first season as head coach of the defending MLS champs, but he hasn’t shied away from an issue continuing to grow not only in North America, but abroad.
“I think for me, it’s ridiculous,” De Boer said in an interview with The Guardian. “It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to [earn] and not less, just what they really deserve. If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”
The U.S. Women’s National Team have recently been fighting for equal pay after recently winning their fourth all-time FIFA World Cup title. Despite a raise to $30 million prize money for winning the World Cup in France, the USWNT still were $418 million short than 2018’s FIFA Men’s World Cup winners, France.
de Boer has seen both success with the Netherlands National Teams during his playing days and as a head coach, but still isn’t agreeing with equal pay. The Royal Dutch Football Association has already pledged equal pay for its men’s and women’s teams, with the women’s earning yearly raises through 2023 when they will be equal to the men’s team.
“I think it started because a woman [was] getting underpaid, especially at [managerial] positions,” he told the newspaper. “They have to earn the same as a man. I think if you have a manager position for a bank or something, you have to earn the same what the men did because it’s not physically, just only here [points to head], so why do you have to earn less, because you’re doing the same job as a man? I think that’s also dropped a little bit into the sports world, like tennis and soccer. But I think that’s still different.”
There is yet to be a decision made regarding the U.S. teams involving equal pay, but the USWNT has continued to push for it.