Matildas first female soccer team to close gender pay gap

In a new deal with Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Matildas have secured pay equal to the Socceroos, closing the gender pay gap for the national women’s team.

FFA made the announcement after talking to players for many months, revealing they will now be receiving equal pay as part of a four-year deal between the Federation and the union, and Professional Footballers Australia.

This makes the Matildas the first ever female soccer team worldwide to be paid the same as their male counterparts. With pay estimated to be roughly $100,000 a year, this decision has been a long time coming for the Matildas.

The Matildas will have a new, three-tiered, centralised contract system that ensures Australia’s top women’s players earn the same as the men’s Tier 1 players.

Players will also receive an increased share of prize money on qualifying for the FIFA World Cup – they’ll now be entitled to 40 percent up from 30 percent, rising to 50 percent if they reach the knockout rounds.

The men’s team are still be able to win more in overall prize money – the total prize pool for the 2018 men’s World Cup stood at $400 million, while the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France was about $30 million.

The deal also includes reviewing the Football Federation Australia’s parental leave policy, to ensure women playing for the national team are supported during pregnancy and on their return.

Matildas Midfielder, Elise Kellond-Knight said at a press conference the deal is a dream come true.

“As a female footballer it’s what we’ve always dreamed of. We always wanted to be treated equally,” Ms Kellond-Knight said.

“The new [Collective Bargaining Agreement] shows signs of respect we are going to be completely included. Having these facilities that the men have been exposed to will set us up for success.”

The Matildas have consistently been high performers on the world stage in recent years, climbing as high as fourth in the world in 2017.

During the World Cup earlier this year the women’s team reached the knockout stages, taking home $1 million for their efforts, whereas the Socceroos failed to win a single game but pocketed $8 million for simply qualifying.

By Sharnae Watson

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