Former US women's soccer star Abby Wambach says World Cup win gives team leverage in equal pay fight

Former U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach said Wednesday the team winning the World Cup over the Netherlands gives them leverage in their fight over equal pay with the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Wambach appeared on CBS Sports HQ and talked about the lawsuit filed by the U.S. women's national team against its federation, alleging gender discrimination.

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“Well, I think that if there was a case of public opinion, of course, they'd have won it,” Wambach said. “I think that winning the World Cup gives them a leveraging point that will obviously tip in their favor. But at the end of the day, it's now in the hands of FIFA and the president Carlos Cordeiro of U.S. Soccer to make these things happen and make these women whole."

Wambach, who won the World Cup in 2015, added: “They've just done, not only tremendous work to win this World Cup, but they did it in a fashion that we all can be proud of. Though US Soccer made (an) early investment on this team, you see the byproduct of that now. You have to keep investing into the program in order for it to stay successful. The women did their job, now it is US Soccer's [turn] to do theirs.”

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Megan Rapinoe took the fight to the forefront on Wednesday during the team’s ticker-tape parade in New York City.

“There’s been so much contention in these last years. I’ve been a victim of that, I’ve been a perpetrator of that,” Rapinoe said. “With our fight with the federation, sorry for some of the things I said – not all of the things. But it’s time to come together.”

She continued: “This conversation is at the next step. We have to collaborate. It takes everybody. This is my charge to everyone. Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you ever been before. If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take it as an example.”

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Rapinoe’s speech came as fans in the crowd were chanting “equal pay” at the federation's president Cordeiro.