As the U.S. continues to bask in the glory of its women’s national soccer team winning a record fourth World Cup, the team’s fight for equitable pay has garnered more attention. 

On Tuesday, the USWNT gained an ally in that fight, as U.S. Senator Joe Manchin introduced a bill that would prevent the federal government from providing any money to the 2026 FIFA World Cup — which will be jointly hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico — until the United States Soccer Federation provides equal pay for its men’s and women’s national teams. You can read the bill text here.

From ABHow North America Landed the 2026 World Cup

In a press release, Manchin shared a letter he received from Nikki Izzo-Brown, who coaches the women’s soccer team at West Virginia University. Manchin said that for Izzo-Brown’s players to one day make the national team, only to be paid less than the men’s team, was “just plain wrong.”

“The clear unequitable pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable and I’m glad the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s latest victory is causing public outcry,” Manchin said in the release. “They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly.”

USA Today points out that the women’s team earns less base pay from the U.S. Soccer Federation, despite their relative success compared the men’s team. 

The 2026 World Cup will likely require funding from the federal government, as host cities will need to prepare with investments in infrastructure and security.

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.