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Football Australia reach deal to close gender pay gap in international football

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 per cent share of an agreed aggregate of generated revenues in 2019-20, rising by 1 per cent each year.

Under the agreement, players are entitled to 40 per cent of prize money on qualifying for a World Cup, representing an increase from 30 per cent. That share of prize money increases to 50 per cent 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 centralised contract system will see Australia’s finest women’s footballers provided with increased annual remuneration with the tier-one 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 £6.2 million in prize money for exiting in the group stage without winning a game.

The Matildas earned £775,000 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 US Soccer Federation alleging gender and pay discrimination between the men’s and women’s national teams.

The US 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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