MLS: Atlanta United FC at Chicago Fire

Atlanta United coach Frank de Boer sits on the bench before a game against the Chicago Fire earlier this season.

Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer, a Dutch football legend, told The Guardian that equal pay for men’s and women’s national teams is not a worthwhile idea.

“I think for me, it’s ridiculous,” de Boer said in an article published Tuesday. “It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same.

“And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to (earn) and not less, just what they really deserve. If it’s just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that. But it’s not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand that.”

The Royal Dutch Football Association announced before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup it reached an agreement to have equal pay for its two national teams by 2023.

The United States women’s national team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March in hopes of achieving equal pay.

De Boer earned 112 caps for the Netherland’s national team — third most by a male in the country’s history — and captained the team on its run to fourth place in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He took over as Atlanta’s manager in December.

De Boer said he is in favor of equal pay in general, but not in sports.

“I think it started because a woman (was) getting underpaid, especially at (managerial) positions,” de Boer told The Guardian. “They have to earn the same as a man. I think if you have a manager position for a bank or something, you have to earn the same what the men did because it’s not physically, just only here (points to head), so why do you have to earn less, because you’re doing the same job as a man?

“I think that’s also dropped a little bit into the sports world, like tennis and soccer. But I think that’s still different.”

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