Women athletes in the US are to be paid the same as their male counterparts ©Getty Images

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill that ensures that men and women are to be compensated equally for their respective performances in sport, following on from a long campaign for this to be implemented in football.

The Equal Pay for Team USA Act will make it mandatory to give equal pay and benefits to those representing the US in sport, with this extending to all national sports.

It also means, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) can determine breaches and what sports are recognised and fall under its jurisdiction.

This was unanimously passed in the Senate and now falls to American President Joe Biden to confirm this.

Women's footballers such as Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were at the forefront of these calls, being part of a federal gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation.

Earlier this year, they signed a new collective bargaining agreement, which included equal distribution of money based on performance at the FIFA World Cup.

Although the collective agreement was made, this equal pay was not legally binding across the National Federations, meaning the legislation secures this in future.

"By sending this legislation to the President, both houses have sent a clear message that this is the standard for all national teams in all sports and it underscores the importance of working with our athletes to achieve equal pay including equalising international prize money," said US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement.

Maria Cantwell sponsored the equal pay bill ©Getty Images
Maria Cantwell sponsored the equal pay bill ©Getty Images

Democrat Senator for Washington Maria Cantwell sponsored the bill, which was later co-sponsored by fellow party member and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. 

Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis and West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito also co-sponsored the bill.

The bill means there is a modification to the USOPC to ensure equal pay is legally enforced, while an annual report on equal treatment of athletes will be a requirement too.

Equal pay campaigning goes beyond the US, with the Canadian men's national football team recently striking to push for their female counterparts to get the same compensation as themselves.

It led to their friendly with Panama to be cancelled hours before it was supposed to take place, back in June.

In 2020, England and Brazil confirmed it would pay its teams equally at major tournaments too, joining Australia, Norway and New Zealand in the initiative at the time.