Australian men, women soccer players close gender pay gap

National Sports

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s football 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 on Wednesday ensures the Socceroos and Matildas receive a 24% share of an agreed aggregate of generated revenues in 2019-20, rising by 1% each year.

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

“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 1 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 at the World Cup.

At the 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia, the Socceroos earned $8 million in prize money for exiting in the group stage without winning a game. The Matildas earned $1 million in prize money for making the round of 16 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.

Players in the United States, including stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, filed a lawsuit in March against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging gender and pay discrimination between the men’s and women’s national teams.

The U.S. has won the last two Women’s World Cup titles. A May 5 trial date has been set in Los Angeles.

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This version corrects the amount of prize money at the 2018 and 2019 World Cups for Australia.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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