Carlos Cordeiro has resigned as US Soccer Federation president three days after the organization filed legal papers in a gender discrimination case claiming female players had less physical ability and responsibility than men.

His decision elevated the former American midfielder Cindy Parlow Cone to become the first female president in the history of the federation.

Cordeiro announced his resignation on Twitter without telling the federation’s communications staff. He stepped down on a day several USSF board members issued extraordinary rebukes that criticized the governing body’s legal filings. Among them were Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber and Cone, the federation’s vice-president.

A night earlier US women wore their warmup jerseys inside-out to hide the federation crest during the national anthem before a game against Japan. Several of the federation’s sponsors this week backed the players and condemned the USSF, including Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, Procter & Gamble and Volkswagen.

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