Ireland should follow Brazil and England and pay female footballers equally

Senator Mark Wall
03 September 2020

Ireland should follow the lead of the Brazilian FA and English FA and ensure female footballers are paid the same as their male counterparts according to Labour Spokesperson on Sport, Senator Mark Wall.

Senator Wall said:

“This is a very welcome move on behalf of the Brazilian FA and I would strong encourage both the FAI and the IRFU here to follow suit and ensure that female players are paid the same as their male counterparts. It also encouraging that the English FA have announced that they have followed suit and that England’s men’s and women’s international teams have been receiving equal pay since January.

“Brazil joins Norway, Australia, New Zealand and now England as the only five countries in the world who pay players equally. In 2018 Forbes released a list of the top 100 paid athletes and all were male, and the previous year Serena Williams was the only woman on the list.

“This issue was brought sharply into focus last year when the United States women’s team sued the governing body US Soccer for gender discrimination. Female players should not have to legally challenge their employer for equal pay, this is completely unacceptable in the year 2020.

“Female sports players need to have the same incentives and supports as their male counterparts and should not feel disenfranchised on account of their gender. How can you expect a woman footballer to train and play as hard as her male counterpart, when in some cases she will only be paid less than half the salary of her male counterpart? There is a significant income disparity between male and female football players and this needs to be addressed.

 “Ireland has made big strides in tackling gender inequality elsewhere but more work needs to be done in relation to tackling the gender pay gap and sport should lead by example with this one action that will go somewhat towards closing the gap and will put Ireland on a growing list of countries to pay female sports players equally.

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