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American football president leaves after gender discrimination lawsuit

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(AP) Carlos Cordeiro resigned as president of the American Football Federation on Thursday evening, three days after the organization unleashed a brutal reaction when its legal documents in a gender discrimination trial claimed that players on the women's national team had fewer physical abilities and responsibilities than their male counterparts.

Her decision elevated former American midfielder Cindy Parlow Cone to become the first female president in the history of the 107-year-old federation.

Cordeiro announced his resignation on Twitter without even informing the communications staff of the federations. He resigned one day when several members of the board of directors of the USSF issued extraordinary criticisms which criticized the legal deposits of the governing bodies. Among them, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber and Parlow Cone, vice president of federations.

A night earlier, American women wore their warm-up jerseys inside out to hide the Federation crest before a game against Japan. Several of the federation sponsors released statements this week supporting the players and condemning the USSF, including The Coca-Cola Co., Anheuser Busch Cos. Inc., The Procter & Gamble Co. and Volkswagen Group.

Cordeiro said he had decided to resign after discussions with the board of directors of the USSF.

It has become clear to me that what is best now is new direction, wrote Cordeiro. The arguments and language contained in this week's legal case have caused a lot of offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary female national team players who deserve better. It was unacceptable and inexcusable.

I have not had the opportunity to fully review the entire file before it is submitted, and I take responsibility for not doing so. If I had, I would have objected to the language, he writes.

The legal documents were submitted to the Los Angeles Federal Court as part of the USSF's defense against the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by players of the National Women's Team last year. They claim they were not paid 50/50 to the men's national team and have asked for more than $ 66 million in damages under the Equality Act pay and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A trial is scheduled for May 5.

While it is gratifying that there has been such a deafening outcry against the blatant misogyny of the USSF, the sexist culture and policies overseen by Carlos Cordeiro have been endorsed for years by the board of directors. USSF administration, said players' spokesman Molly Levinson. This institution must change and support and compensate players equally.

Cordeiro had apologized for the arguments Wednesday evening while the women's team was still on the field against Japan. He added that the federation had retained the services of a new legal adviser, a decision taken Thursday by the national male team called window covering and a sleight of hand.

Parlow Cone, now 41, has scored 75 goals in 158 games with the United States from 1995 to 2006, winning the 1999 World Cup and two Olympic gold medals. She retired due to post-concussion syndrome.

She was elected to the U.S. National Hall of Fame in 2018 and was elected vice president of the USSF in 2019.

Parlow Cone will hold the office of President until the annual general meeting of federations in February 2021. An election will then be held to complete the term of Cordeiros, which will continue until the election. ordinary for a four-year term in 2022.

She congratulated Cordeiro, calling him a good man with a good heart.

The passion that has arisen in the past two days is what inspires me to look to the future, to work hard to improve relationships and move the game forward for everyone, she said in a press release published by the federation.

Earlier today, Parlow Cone posted on Twitter that she had been injured and saddened by the case filed by USSF lawyers.

One of Cones' former teammates, Julie Foudy, suggested that there was no other way out after these 2,600 pages of legal documents.

I have been playing with Cindy for many years. I know Cindy. It includes ALL players who have experienced this. And she is a human hell. Give it a chance to succeed. Please, Foudy posted.

Garbers' statement was particularly revealing. He is a member of the board of directors of the USSF and CEO of Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm of MLS and the USSF.

"I have expressed to the President of the Federation in no uncertain terms how unacceptable and offensive the statements in this case are," said Garber. These statements do not reflect my personal point of view, or the views of the Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing families. I intend to immediately address this issue with the board of directors of US Soccer.

A former Goldman Sachs partner, Cordeiro was elected head of the USSF two years ago, succeeding Sunil Gulati, who decided not to stand for re-election after the men failed to qualify. for the 2018 World Cup.

USSF statements of physical superiority and male responsibility have received widespread condemnation.

The comments made by U.S. Soccer do not match our values ​​or our views on women's football, said Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing, Budweisers, in a statement. We defend and admire the athletics of women in this sport because we find them among the best athletes in the world.

The player protested before a 3-1 victory in the SheBelieves Cup provided a visual to the accumulated anger. The players hid the USSF crest on the jerseys but allowed the four stars one for each World Cup title to be visible. The players did not smile in the photo of the pre-match team.

Players took advantage of social media to express their dissatisfaction. Christen Press published a photo of the unsmiling team, writing: It is the great honor of my life to practice this sport and represent this country. Every woman deserves equal pay and every institution in the world that doesn't value women as much as men needs to change now.

Former national team stars Heather OReilly, Abby Wambach, Michelle Akers and Hope Solo were all in favor of Cordeiro resigning.

DaMarcus Beasley, the only American to have competed in four World Cups, said he was both annoyed and disappointed.

Respectfully, this is a terrible stance from US Soccer, wrote Beasley. Our women are NOT inferior to men in every sense of the word. They are Olympic gold medalists and World Cup champions !!! And incredible women !!

Nashville SC midfielder Dax McCarty, a former national team member, wrote on Twitter that the statements were sexist, misogynistic and deaf and horrible.

In an interview that followed the match, Megan Rapinoe, the defending FIFA player of the year, spoke to the young players.

You are no lesser just because you are a girl. You're not better just because you're a boy, she said. We are all created equal and must all have the same chance to go out and pursue our dreams.

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