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US Soccer Gender Discrimination Hearing Delayed; Premier League Players Launch Funds Generation for NHS and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): The gender discrimination lawsuit brought by the US women players against the US Soccer Federation was to be heard from May 5 to June 16 | Premier League players launch initiative to help generate funds for NHS | 16 England players set to go head-to-head online for new FIFA gaming title | Rangers blast plans to end Scottish season early | Toni Kroos: Logical for Real Madrid players to take pay cut.
US women national soccer team

Megan Rapinoe, one of the co-captains of the US Women’s Soccer team has been at the forefront of the team’s case against the federation, alleging gender discrimination (Twitter, BRUS).

The US District Judge, Gary Klausner postponed the date for the gender discrimination lawsuit brought by the US women players against the US Soccer Federation from May 5 to June 16. This decision came after both parties sought guidance keeping the coronavirus pandemic in mind. Players from the US women's national team sued the federation in 2019 alleging gender discrimination, and demanded $66 million in back pay under the Equal Pay and the Civil Rights Act.The claims further say they haven’t been paid fairly compared to players on the Men’s national team. The federation has denied this claim.

In response to the complaints, several sponsors of the federation apologised and fierce criticism forced US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro to hand in his resignation last month.

Premier League #PLayersTogether

Premier League players launched a charitable fund called #PlayersTogether on April 9 to generate and distribute funds for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to help fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A statement posted by many players on social media said the idea was to create ‘a contribution fund that can be used to distribute money to where it’s needed most in this Covid-19 crisis; helping those fighting for us on the NHS frontline as well as other key areas of need.’ 

Also Read: FIFA Approves Late Transfer Window

They have partnered with NHS Charities Together  (NHSCT) in order to identify key areas where the funding is required the most and distribute them accordingly. The announcement comes after increasing pressures for players to play their part providing relief efforts in the ongoing pandemic.The level of contribution made is yet to be revealed publicly.

England Players in FIFA 20 Tussle

A new FIFA 20 tournament was launched by the FA on Thursday, and some players from the England team will take part in this virtual tournament. As part of the #FootballsStayingHome initiative, 16 players from the men and women squads are going to put their skills to the test. Players including Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, Liverpool's Trent Alexander Arnold and Olympique Lyonnais defender Lucy Bronze will battle it out virtually on the popular video game.

Also Read | Caste, Creed, Corporation: A Brief History of Bias in Indian Football

Fans will be able to catch the live action on England FA's Twitter and YouTube channels from 1600GMT on Friday with commentary by esports commentators Brandon Smith and Richard Buckley. The aim of the competition is to help raise awareness for the National Emergencies Trust which is helping charities and foundations in assisting those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rangers Say No to End Season Early 

Rangers criticised the Scottish Professional Football League’s (SPFL) emergency plans to curtail the leagues, describing it as ‘abhorrent’ insisting that the SPFL should release prize money now rather than ‘railroad’ rule changes.

With all games called to a standstill in Scotland, the SPFL top brass went into a huddle to figure out a slew of drastic contingency measures which also include calling the league to an end. In that case Rangers’ arch rivals Celtic would win the Premiership this season. However for now the decision on the Premiership has been delayed until ‘at least 23 April’. A decision on the lower leagues is being taken via a ballot. All 42 clubs in Scotland have been given 24 hours till Friday evening to respond. Should 75% in each tier support the proposal, Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers would be promoted, with Partick Thistle and Stranraer relegated from the Championship.

In a statement, Rangers said they would oppose any attempt to cancel the season ‘in the strongest possible terms.. "For the avoidance of doubt, Rangers firmly believe the season is only complete when all 38 games have been played to a finish," the statement added.

Toni Kroos on Pay Cut


Toni Kroos of Real Madrid (Pic: Twitter, Infinite Madrid)

Real Madrid star Toni Kroos said it is logical for players and coaches to take a pay cut following the coronavirus pandemic. The club made an announcement saying players and coaches from its football and basketball squads have agreed to take a pay cut with La Liga and other professional sports in Spain on hold. Before this announcement, in an interview with SWR Sport podcast Kroos had stated he was not in favour of pay cuts amid financial concerns. “Cutting salaries is like a donation in vain – or for the club,” he said.

He clarified his statements later. “It is possible that it [the interview] has not been translated correctly or that some do not want to understand,” Kroos wrote via Twitter.

“From the first moment, my opinion, you know me well, is this: if we can help the workers and areas of the club, I see it as logical to renounce part of our salary, something that could be proven today."

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