The Australian women’s national team is leading the charge for equal pay. The team, which has support from Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), the local players’ union, plans to take FIFA to court if it does not increase pay to women’s teams participating in the upcoming Women’s World Cup.
Australia are not among the heavy betting favorites to win the tournament, but they do come in with respectable odds. The reigning champions USA are the odds-on favorites (check out this list of safe online betting sites to learn more), followed by hosts France, Germany and England.
The teams participating in the Women’s World Cup will make just 7.5 percent of the total amount awarded to the men’s teams at last summer’s World Cup in Russia. For example, if Australia manages to win the tournament, the players will collectively take home about half of what the Australian men’s team earned by going out in the group stage last summer.
The PFA claims that FIFA can easily pay the players a fair wage considering the governing body has nearly $3billion in the bank. FIFA’s top two executives, president Gianni Infantino and general secretary Fatma Samoura, combine to make more money on an annual basis (about $4.1million) than the Women’s World Cup winners will receive ($4 million).
PFA chief executive John Didulica has reportedly discussed the matter with FIFA over the past year. However, the two sides have failed to come to terms on an agreement, which caused the PFA to launch a brand-new website – ourgoalisnow.com – in order to raise awareness on the matter.
PFA is calling for FIFA to immediately double the size of the total prize money from $30million to about $57million. Didiluca issued a statement that said; “It is the players themselves who are the victims of discrimination. PFA expressly reserves the rights of the players to have this matter resolved through appropriate means including mediation and arbitration. There is no legal, economic, or practical reason why this cannot occur after the tournament.”
While the total prize pool for the Women’s World Cup is about $30million, nearly $400million was handed out to the participants in the men’s event last summer.
The Australian women’s team plans to formally campaign for the change during the upcoming tournament in France while encouraging fellow participants to join the fight. Elise Kellond-Knight, a defensive midfielder for the Matildas, said; “I’m so proud of the PFA for taking the initiative. We’re the one association that have put our hand up and said: ‘This isn’t right, is anyone going to do anything about it?”
She added; “We’ll put funds into it. We’ll put the time, the effort, the resources, and we’ll investigate it. We’ll put a case together and see what sort of support we can get. I hope that it gets the backing and the recognition it deserves. It’s a legitimate case that we’re putting forward.”
Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams said; “Now’s the time. Female sports are on the rise. To have a World Cup Final sell out in half an hour in female sports is ridiculous. It’s crazy. And we need more support.”
Member federations will be awarded all prize money for the event. The Australian team has agreed to split 30 percent of any prize money won during the World Cup equally among the 23 players on the squad. That means each player will earn between $9,800 (if they are ousted in the group stage) and $52,000 (if they win the tournament).