Ireland is taking a big step in sports equality with the announcement that the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) will pay the women’s and men’s teams’ equal match fees. Match payments paid to male athletes will be reduced while match payments paid to female athletes will be increased to reach equality.
The agreement was made after discussions with team captains Seamus Coleman and Katie McCabe. FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill told The Irish Times, “It is…another step forward in our key strategic goal to grow the women’s game in Ireland in a sustainable and systematic way.”
The Republic of Ireland women’s team threatened to strike in 2017 over poor treatment by the FAI, unequal pay, and subpar playing conditions. Since then, players report that conditions have improved greatly and equal pay solidifies the FAI’s commitment to value and support women’s football to the same degree as men’s.
Women’s team forward Stephanie Roche told BBC, “It’s not about money, it’s about being considered equal.”
Image source: The Irish Times