A Historic New Agreement Means The Matildas Will Now Get Paid The Same As The Socceroos
It’s 2019, but still so many top female athletes aren’t paid as much as their male counterparts. As of yesterday, though, that’s no longer the case for our national women’s soccer team.
This week, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced the end to an existing pay gap between the male and female soccer players who play on the national teams. Through the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between FFA and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), the Socceroos (our men's national football team) and the Matildas (our women's national football team) will receive equal pay and an equal share of commercial revenue, which players receive when they participate in public appearances, events and the like.
The four-year agreement will expire in 2023, which ensures that the increased pay benefits the women during the 2022 World Cup. Previously, the Matildas received 30 percent of the prize money if the team qualified for the World Cup. As part of the CBA, women now receive 40 percent of the prize money for qualifying, and 50 percent of the prize money if they are eliminated during knockout rounds. Other benefits, including an upgraded parental leave policy and access to a higher level of coaching support, are also included in the agreement.
Elise Kellond-Knight, midfielder for the Westfield Matildas, touched on what the CBA meant for the team in a statement. “We always wanted to be treated equal, to be able to step out onto that pitch with equal opportunity and the equal facilities the men have been exposed to. Now we are going to completely included,” she said.
Gender-based pay disparity isn’t exclusive to the sports industry, but the issue received renewed attention following the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, 28 players of the United States women’s national team (USWNT) filed suit against U.S. soccer for gender discrimination, ESPN reported. All 28 signees sought equal pay, and alleged that for every $13,166 USD a male made playing a single friendly soccer match, women made $4,950 USD — despite the fact that the USWNT wins way more frequently than the men's team does. A hearing on the suit is scheduled for May 2020.
Given this, it's no wonder that members of the USWNT are paying attention to what's going on down under. On Instagram Stories, professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe posted a screen capture of the news, calling the Matildas 'world leaders'.
What a great result for the Matildas. Let's hope this is the first of many steps towards addressing the gender pay gap. Check out the full terms of the groundbreaking agreement here.
- Lauren Rearick
Main Image Credit: Getty