The United States Women’s National Team is one of the best soccer teams, and actually THE best at the moment, in the world. They have done what a lot of other “professional” players dream of…not only have they achieved high success in world cup competitions but they also have the leverage to use against their federation to fight for women’s equality in the soccer world: they have power.
For the sake of comparison, the Croatian Women’s National team under their current circumstances would never stand up to the Croatian Football Federation and demand for higher pay, better benefits and equality because we all know that the Federation is looking to invest the least amount of money possible unless they are forced otherwise, and if the federation were to say NO, would they say back? The USWNT then uses their achievements as leverage and if they decide they are not going to play because of unfair treatment the whole world would know about it, therefore, embarrassing the US Soccer Federation globally. The Croatian Women’s National Team has no leverage in case the argument for “equality” and “because it’s not fair” went wrong because they have no global achievements from FIFA or EUFA competitions, no recognition and extremely poor media coverage to help get their case out.
Now, I believe strongly that European Football Federations in many countries are given ample money to develop women’s soccer which they use for their own personal benefits (or for men’s soccer) and that if the teams got together in solidarity and fought against that corruption that they would eventually win. But it will always be a sacrifice and some will lose because it’s an unfair battle….trying to go up against the corrupt giant is never an easy task. However, the USWNT has done just that. First they achieved greatness, and then they used that accomplishment as leverage against their federation to demand equality between them and their male counterparts.
In this article by the Time’s Motto, you can see what player’s such as Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo had to say on the matter in November of 2016:
Can you imagine though, if the best women’s national team in the world with FIFA World Cup and international tournament titles, from the land of the free and home of the brave where equal pay is already considered a right throughout the country (something that is not true for many other countries), where equality n sports is secured by law and the cultural mindset deems soccer a completely normal sport for women…if they are struggling for fairness, how bad is the state of women’s soccer and equality in other countries?