Australia’s women football team, Matildas, has now joined New Zealand and Norway in placing male and female players on the same pay scale. The decision was arrived at following numerous complaints launched by the female team to the world FIFA board many months ago.
The gender pay gap, which is largely seen in football, was widely discussed following the Women’s World Cup in July this year. Football Federation Australia (FFA) said it means the top male and female players will be on the same pay scale, but the men are likely to keep earning more due to the greater prize money typically on offer at their matches.
“This is a massive step taken to close the gender pay gap between the Socceroos (the male football team) and the Matildas,” said FFA chief executive David Gallop as quoted by the BBC.
Under the new, and presumably historic deal, both sides will receive the same cut of commercial revenue – such as advertising – and players will be valued equally. Top female players will also see a significant boost to their salary – now Ksh. 7M from the previous Ksh. 4.83M. The Matildas will also receive identical training conditions and other entitlements – such as business class air travel – which are currently afforded to the Socceroos. Although both teams will now receive a 40% cut of prize money at tournaments, the men’s team will typically receive more overall – because their prize money tends to be higher due to the frequency of matches within a week and skill possession.
Early March this year, the US women’s team also highlighted a similar pay gap issue in women’s football when it launched a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation over pay and conditions, alleging discrimination. According to a previous post on The Sauce, the South African National Women’s Football Team received the same pay as their male counterparts for the first time ever as they represented the Rainbow Nation in the 2019 IFA World Cup. Spearheading gender parity in the domain of sports, for the first time ever South Africa’s women’s team and its men’s team, Bafana Bafana, earned the same pay as they head to the World Cup and the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) earlier in July 2019.
Many female football teams in many countries, including Kenya’s Harambee Starlets, are yet to break the barriers in football like gender pay disparities and other forms of discrimination due to the little attention that is given to women football.