Australia’s women footballers get landmark equal pay deal

Australia has emerged as a champion for equality in the sports arena with netballers and women cricketers also winning better pay deals in recent years. (AFP)
Updated 06 November 2019

Australia’s women footballers get landmark equal pay deal

  • Matildas stars such as Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter will be paid an equal amount as big-name Socceroos like Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan
  • The breakthrough will be a big boost for America’s women footballers, who have filed an equal pay lawsuit

SYDNEY: Women footballers playing for Australia’s national team will earn the same as their male counterparts under a deal unveiled Wednesday and hailed as landmark for gender equality in sport.
Under a new centralized contract system announced by Football Federation Australia (FFA), Matildas stars such as Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter will be paid an equal amount as big-name Socceroos like Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan.
They will also be afforded business class flights to international fixtures and tournaments, like the men.
The breakthrough will be a big boost for America’s women footballers, who have filed an equal pay lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation due to be heard in May next year.
The United States triumphed at the Women’s World Cup in France this year with chants of “equal pay” ringing out after they defeated the Netherlands in the final.
“Football is the game for everyone, and this new collective bargaining agreement is another huge step toward ensuring that we live the values of equality, inclusivity and opportunity,” said FFA chairman Chris Nikou.
Under the four-year deal, through the next World Cup cycles, the Socceroos and Matildas will receive a 24 percent share of national team revenues, rising by one percent each year.
In other words, the better they do, the more they get paid.
FFA chief David Gallop said it was the “Socceroos’ choice to share the revenue,” and national captain Mark Milligan said women were getting “what they deserve.”
“It’s been clear for everybody how much the women’s game has grown over the past few years and how well our Matildas have been doing,” he said, adding that the success of the World Cup in France, where the Matildas were knocked out on penalties in the last 16, underscored this.
“It really drove home for me in these negotiations that they got what they deserved. Going forward, what a value they are to the Australian football community.”
From the national revenues, the players have agreed to plow five percent back into Australian youth national teams, guaranteeing a minimum level of investment for future generations.
There has also been an increase from 30 to 40 percent in players’ share of prize money earned on qualifying for a World Cup.
Matildas midfielder Elize Kellond-Knight said the deal showed “respect” toward women.
“As a female footballer, it’s kind of what we always dreamed of,” she said.
It follows a more general deal struck earlier this year that will see all professional female footballers in Australia receive the same minimum wage as their male counterparts.
Professional Footballers Australia chief John Didulica called the agreement “unique” in world football.
“We believe it sets the model for where all federations and players — male and female — can take the game to unlock the incredible social and commercial opportunity that, in particular, women’s football presents,” he said.
Australia has emerged as a champion for equality in the sports arena with netballers and women cricketers also winning better pay deals in recent years.
Earlier this year, 17 sporting chief executives in Australia all threw their weight behind a drive to close the pay gap and advance all aspects of women’s sport.
Only last month, the International Cricket Council announced a 320 percent increase in prize money for the women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next year.
It still left women earning less than men at a similar tournament, prompting Cricket Australia to pledge it would make up the difference to ensure parity with the men’s winnings for its team.
A handful of other sports have also moved to address gender inequality, with the World Surf League for the first time this year paying equal prize money following a backlash on social media.
Tennis was a leader in introducing equal pay for women at the Grand Slams, with the Williams sisters among the most outspoken on pay parity.


Steady Nadal beats animated Kyrgios in 4 at Australian Open

Updated 42 min 27 sec ago

Steady Nadal beats animated Kyrgios in 4 at Australian Open

  • Top-ranked Nadal kept his thoughts to himself and limited his shot-making to the more traditional variety
  • Nick Kyrgios delivered 25 aces and some memorable moments

MELBOURNE, Australia: Rafael Nadal left the muttering and the preening, the underarm serving and the ‘tweening, to his younger, flashier opponent, Nick Kyrgios.
Surely, Nadal was content to collect the win in the latest installment of their rivalry.
The No. 1-ranked Nadal kept his thoughts to himself and limited his shot-making to the more traditional variety in an entertaining 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) victory over home-crowd favorite Kyrgios on Monday to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals and get closer to a record-tying 20th Grand Slam title.
Here’s how the elevated stakes and tension affected both men: At 5-all in the pivotal third-set tiebreaker, Kyrgios double-faulted. That offered up a gift-wrapped set point. But Nadal failed to take advantage because he double-faulted right back.
Still, two points later, the 23rd-seeded Kyrgios put a forehand into the net, and the set was Nadal’s. Not long after, Kyrgios double-faulted again to get broken at love.
That put Nadal ahead 2-1 in the fourth, seemingly in control. He faltered, though, while serving for the win at 5-4, double-faulting to create a pair of break points, the second of which Kyrgios converted with a jumping forehand and celebrated by throwing his head back and screaming. Spectators rose and roared and waved their Australian flags in support of the 24-year-old from Canberra.
Kyrgios delivered 25 aces and some memorable moments — including walking out on court and warming up for the match in a No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey to honor Kobe Bryant, the five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star who died in a helicopter crash Sunday at age 41.
Nadal was just the better player overall. One measure: Nadal finished with more than twice as many winners, 64, as unforced errors, 27.