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Australia closes gender pay gap for male and female soccer players

By Mutala Yakubu
Australia women's team striker Sam Kerr (second from left) kicks the ball during a training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney in February. | AFP-JIJI
Australia women's team striker Sam Kerr (second from left) kicks the ball during a training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney in February. | AFP-JIJI

Australia’s soccer federation and players’ union say they have agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement that closes the pay gap between the men’s and women’s national teams.

The new four-year CBA announced Wednesday ensures the Socceroos and Matildas receive a 24 percent share of an agreed aggregate of generated revenues in 2019-20, rising by 1 percent each year.

Under the agreement, players are entitled to 40 percent of prize money on qualifying for a FIFA World Cup, representing an increase from 30 percent. That share of prize money increases to 50 percent if they progress to the knockout stage of the competition.

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“The new agreement reflects football’s determination to address issues of gender equity in all facets of the game and build a sustainable financial model that rewards players as national team revenues increase,” a joint statement said. “Significantly for the Matildas, a new three-tiered centralized contract system will see Australia’s finest women’s footballers provided with increased annual remuneration with the tier-one players earning the same amount as the top Socceroos.”

The agreement still doesn’t reflect equal remuneration: the Socceroos’ prize money is exponentially greater than the Matildas.

Local media reported that at the 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia, the Socceroos earned $5.5 million just for qualifying, and then failed to win a game. The Matildas earned about $700,000 for making the knockout stages at the Women’s World Cup in France this year.

Critics say the women will still end up with a much smaller share and that the teams should share the same percentage of a total prize money pool.

Source: japantimes