Frank De Boer, the former Dutch international who now coaches reigning MLS Cup champions Atlanta United, doesn't think women's soccer players deserve the same amount of money as their male counterparts.

"I think, for me, it's ridiculous," De Boer told the Guardian's Chris Fuhrmeister. "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?"

De Boer's comments come at a delicate point in the ongoing debate over equal pay. The United States women's national team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer in March on the grounds it has suffered "institutionalized gender discrimination." The players are seeking equal pay and treatment from the federation, as well as damages and back pay.

The men's national team has supported the USWNT along the way, and hit back at U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro's claims that the women were collectively paid more than the men from 2010-18.

The Netherlands - which lost to the USWNT in the World Cup final in France - recently made concessions to its women's team, pledging to give the players annual raises until 2023, when their salaries are expected to achieve parity.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.