Matilda’s Pay Dispute

Matildas training

Australia’s women’s national football team has called off its entire tour of the United States as the pay dispute with Football Federation Australia (FFA) continues to escalate.

Last week, the Matildas confirmed their withdrawal from a Sydney training camp ahead of the planned tour, and have now upped the ante in attempts to call off their tour of the world champions. This drastic advocacy by the Matildas themselves just goes to show how important and serious this issue really is this issue is.

The Matildas thrilled Australian audiences earlier this year, when they reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, becoming the first Australian representative team to reach the last eight in a football world cup. And rightfully so do they deserve to be paid a fair and just amount if that fact is anything to go by.

However it has been two months since the Matildas were payed after the players’ contracts expired and negotiations stalled because of their dispute.

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief executive Adam Vivian said in a statement that “The Matildas are in a very interesting situation, they fundamentally have a full-time workload with part time pay, so we’re looking for an immediate correction to their pay scheme – that’s not a huge correction by the way, that correction sort of circa $150,000 in total in terms of the addition of what’s been offered,” he said.

Vivian said that at $21,000 a year for each player, there is no question the Matildas are underpaid. This statistic is beyond shocking especially when you compare it to the incredible salaries of their male counterparts.

Vivian does agree that it’s time for a more justifiable and substantial deal to be struck and says that the federation wouldn’t have worked so hard if they wanted to get an agreement that would better reflect the amazing standard of our women’s team.

It is good to see the players taking a stand because they are not being remunerated respectively, so ultimately it’ s not a game for them, when it comes to serious financial issues, its their livelihood that’s at stake.

Diahann x

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Lauren Jackson speaks out for Women in Sport

“Australian sportswomen are being exploited and should consider going public to demand better pay,” Lauren Jackson says.

The champion basketballer threw her support behind the Matilda’s last week, saying that more sportswomen should consider taking action to improve their remuneration and conditions.

The ongoing issue has sparked interest nationally and globally, with the pay gap between men and women in professional sports being a serious issue that needs to be constantly worked on and improved upon in order to bring about any systematic and fundamental change.

The issue has been of great interest recently as the Australian women’s soccer team (Matildas) have been in a messy dispute with Football Federation Australia (FFA) which has seen their upcoming tour of the USA axed.

Jackson said in a statement that the Matildas were bringing attention to the lack of equality in the treatment of women across sports.

“The Matildas are putting it out there and it’s something that other codes definitely need to think about,” she said.

Australian’s are renowned for their love of sport, with many even citing it as ‘Australia’s religion’, so in a nation full of sports fanatics, why are we so behind the times when it comes to equality? Gender disparity is something that women have had to face for far too long in many industries, so its really about time that the necessary action is taken in order to combat it.

Jackson also spoke about how the salaries and match fees offered to Australian sports women do not at all reflect their standings in the world rankings. The Matildas are ranked 9th in the world, which is certainly a lot higher than that of their male counterparts, the Soceroos.

“We put our bodies on the line like the men do, just like the men do, and I think there needs to be recognition and support in the way of remuneration,” she said.

Matildas defender Laura Alleway said it was “semi-embarrassing to be offered anything less than [minimum wage], as women, as women in sport,” she said.

Under their last agreement with FFA, the Matildas earned a salary of $21,000 a year, plus additional payments such as a base fee for international matches of $500. Although the men’s salary works differently, their basic match payment for an international was $6000.

“Hopefully this will start something, in all women’s sport in Australia and over the world, enough’s enough,” Alleway said.

Diahann x