Just as the U.S. women’s national soccer team prepared to take on France in the 2019 World Cup quarterfinals on Friday, hundreds of flag-waving fans marched through the streets of Paris chanting “equal pay!” in support of the players’ fight for fair compensation.
The crowd of supporters halted street traffic and stole attention as they made their way to the stadium on a scorching summer day.
Led by American Outlaws, an unofficial group supporting the U.S. national soccer teams, the crowd switched up its chants at different points along the way. “U-S-A!” and “When the Yanks go marching in” ― with “Yanks” replacing “saints” in the common refrain ― were also popular.
Members of the heavyweight team filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March, alleging gender discrimination and seeking to be paid the same as their male counterparts. All 28 current members of the national team joined in the suit.
Pressure on the federation grew when The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the women’s team has pulled in more revenue than the men’s team over the past three years.
With three World Cup trophies to its name, the American team has been fortified through increased investment from national federations, giving it a hearty shove toward the top.
Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and their teammates have already made an undeniable mark on the 2019 World Cup, beating out Thailand earlier this month with a record-breaking final score of 13-0. (They also took time to console the Thai players in the end.)
The hotly anticipated match with France on Friday will send one team to face England in the semifinals on July 2.
Watch more footage of the supporters’ march through Paris below.