Judge R. Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California presided over the court case with the governing body of the sport in America, US Soccer, as the female players claimed they received inferior treatment to their male colleagues.

The US women’s national team (USWNT) was seeking damages amounting to $66 million under the Equal Pay Act.

But in a major blow to the women’s team’s case, the judge threw out a major component of their complaint – namely that they were not paid equally in comparison to the men’s team – after deciding that the women’s team had actually been paid MORE than their male counterparts.

“The WNT (Women’s National Team) has been paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the MNT (Men’s National Team) over the class period,” said the court’s summary judgement.

A spokeswoman for the players, Molly Levinson, said an appeal is already in the works.

“We are shocked and disappointed,” she stated, following the judgment.

“We will not give up our hard work for equal pay.

“We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.”

USWNT player Tobin Heath quote-tweeted the statement, adding, “This team never gives up and we’re not going to start now. #USWNT”

While the female players’ equal pay claims were dismissed, other aspects of their overall case – including claims that they did not receive equal treatment to the male players with regard to travel, training and accommodation – remain on the table, with the court ruling those claims can proceed to a trial on June 16.

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