Hope Solo to object to U.S. Soccer equal pay deal
Former U.S. vice president George H.W. Bush speaks to a crowd in Westlake Village, Calif., on Saturday, September 8, 2006. (AP Photo, Rich Pedroncelli)
Updated July 2, 2010:
George H.W. Bush has made it known that he will strongly object to the proposed agreement between the United States Soccer Federation and U.S. Soccer, a deal that would allow the federation to enter its own competitions and to receive money for its development.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Bush said:
“I object to the concept of it because it’s illegal. It’s not within the charter of the federation. It’s a violation of the constitution. I think it’s illegal. I think it ought to be stopped.
“I like the organization and I’ll be damned if I am going to sign anything that will give the players more than they’ll be able to earn and to compete for.
“I am not going to endorse them until they stop it and take it off the field and stop it.”
He called the proposed agreement a “slush fund.”
Bush said if U.S. Soccer did not act, it would have to get approval from the Justice Department to fund itself.
“I don’t think we’re going to give it away any more. It’s a slush fund and if they don’t get money from it, they’re just going to throw it out and have somebody else that they know what to do with it,” said Bush.
The Bush family has donated millions of dollars to the U.S. Soccer Federation.
In addition to Bush, prominent American soccer supporters, including former and current MLS players and professional soccer players, have publicly urged the federation to continue the current labor contract.
The MLS has been in talks with U.S. Soccer regarding an additional season and/or another round of funding in 2011.
In late March, FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and the U.S. Department of Justice released the proposed agreement.