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US women's national team to appeal pay claim

The United States women's national team in action Source: Getty Images

The US women's national team can proceed with their appeal over claims for equal pay after a judge on Tuesday (AEST) approved a settlement between the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the players over working conditions.

The women's team sued the sport's governing body in 2019, alleging gender discrimination in compensation and nearly every other aspect of playing conditions, and months later picked up their fourth FIFA Women's World Cup as fans chanted "equal pay" during the final.

A federal court judge in California last year threw out the players' claims that they were underpaid compared with the men's national team and weeks later denied the players' bid to appeal until the working conditions element was settled.

Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the players, said they plan to appeal the ruling on equal pay after the judge granted final approval to the settlement on working conditions, which includes travel, accommodations and playing conditions.

"We are committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve and our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and our country," Levinson said.

In a statement, the USSF, known as US Soccer, said the women's team had declined to meet unless the federation "agrees to make up the difference" in prize money handed out by FIFA at the men's and Women's World Cup.

In a written response, Levinson called the USSF's statement "misleading".

FIFA awarded $400 million (A$526 million) in prize money for the 32 teams at the 2018 men's World Cup, including $38 million (A$50 million) to champions France.

It awarded $30 million (A$39.5 million) for the 24 teams at the 2019 Women's World Cup, including $4 million (A$5.3 million) to the US who successfully defended their crown.

FIFA have increased the total to $440 million (A$579 million) for the 2022 men's World Cup.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed the women's prize money is doubled to $60 million (A$79 million) for the 2023 Women's World Cup - when the number of teams will increase to 32.

The US women's team, who drew 1-1 with Sweden on Sunday, face France in a friendly on Wednesday as they prepare to compete at this year's Tokyo Olympics.

Source AAP