US Soccer and women players reach a new collective bargaining agreement

US women's national team
The US women's national team are three-time winners of the World Cup

The US Soccer Federation and the country's top female players have ended their long-running dispute over wage discrimination.

The fallout had raised the prospect of strike action last year by the world champions.

But US Soccer and the US Women's National Team Players Association have now reached a collective bargaining agreement through to 2021.

That will include the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup and 2020 Olympics.

No details of the agreement have been released.

A joint statement from US Soccer and the players association said the deal will "improve the professional lives of players".

The statement also said that it will "continue to build the women's program in the US [and] grow the game of soccer worldwide."

It added: "We are proud of the hard work and commitment to thoughtful dialogue reflected through this process, and look forward to strengthening our partnership moving forward."

In a message on Twitter, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said: "We believe this is another important step to continue our longstanding efforts to drive the growth of women's soccer in the United States.

"This agreement helps to ensure the strength of the women's national team, provide stability and growth potential for the National Women's Soccer League, and over time strengthen the elite player development process at the grassroots level.

"We believe our continued partnership will ensure a bright future for our sport for years to come."

United States women footballers had previously considered striking over the issue of pay.

Last March, five senior members of the World Cup-winning US football team filed a complaint against the national federation, claiming they are paid less than half of what the male US players receive.

One of the five players, Manchester City's Carli Lloyd, tweeted on Wednesday: "Happy an agreement has been reached."

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