SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – US women’s national soccer team players have asked a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling dismissing their action for equal pay for the men’s team.

Players led by Alex Morgan on Wednesday asked the US 9th Court of Appeals to reinstate the part of their lawsuit that US District Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed last May when he gave the US Football Association a partial judgment.

“For every victory, defeat and draw that women players secure, they are paid less than men who play the same sport and do the same job. That’s gender discrimination, “player spokeswoman Molly Levinson said in a statement. “An ubiquitous atmosphere of sexism fueled this wage discrimination.”

Appointments are given to three panels of judges. The 9th Circuit estimates that oral disputes in civil complaints are scheduled 12 to 20 months after the complaint is announced and 9 to 12 months after the written pleadings are completed.

The court asked players to submit their letter by July 23rd and the USSF by August 23rd. Players’ optional reply letter is due 21 days after submitting the USSF.

The US has won the last two women’s world championships and is the favorite in the women’s Olympic soccer tournament this summer.

The players sued the USSF in March 2019, claiming they were not paid fairly under their collective agreement, which runs until December 2021, compared to what the men’s team received under their contract, which expired in December 2018. The women claimed more than $ 66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Klausner dropped the salary claim last May, ruling that the women rejected a pay-to-play structure similar to that in the men’s agreement and accepted higher base salaries and benefits than the men who did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The sides reached an agreement on working conditions on December 1st, which Klausner approved on Monday. The deal includes charter flights, hotel accommodation, choice of venues and professional staff support to match that of the men’s team.

The USSF says it pays equally for games it controls but not for tournaments organized by the World Federation of Football.

FIFA awarded $ 400 million in prize money to the 32 teams at the 2018 Men’s World Cup, including $ 38 million for the French champions. The 2019 Women’s World Cup was awarded $ 30 million to the 24 teams, including $ 4 million for the US after the Americans won their second straight title.

FIFA has raised the total for the 2022 Men’s World Cup to $ 440 million, and its President Gianni Infantino has proposed that FIFA double the women’s prize pool for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to $ 60 million, with the FIFA has increased the teams to 32.

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