Sydney, Nov 6 : In a world first, players from Australia's national women's soccer team will be paid the same as their male counterparts, marking a breakthrough for gender equality in sports.
The Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) formally announced the deal on Wednesday, which will see top tier women's players from the national side, the Matildas, earning an equal salary to their counterparts in men's team, the Socceroos.
Furthermore, the team will receive a 24 percent share of an agreed aggregate of national team generated revenues in 2019-20, rising by 1 percent each year of the 4-year deal.
While historically the Socceroos have been allocated a greater share of commercial revenues, the new terms will be the same for both teams.
"This new deal is enormous. As a female footballer, it's kind of what we've always dreamed of, we've always wanted to be treated equal," Matildas midfielder, Elise Kellond-Knight told reporters.
"We wanted to be able to step out on that pitch with equal opportunity and equal facilities that the men have been exposed to."
Also included in the deal, the Matildas will now fly business class for international travel -- the same standard afforded to the men -- and the amount of World Cup prize money allocated to the players will increase from 30 to 40 percent, jumping to 50 percent if they reach the knockout stage of the competition.
"Football is a game for everyone, and this new (deal) is another huge step toward ensuring that we live the values of equality, inclusivity, and opportunity," FFA Chairman, Chris Nikou said.
"It means whether you are a male or female, the value football places on your jersey is no different. We are proud to break this new ground in Australian and world sport."
In recent years, the Matildas have performed better on the global stage than the men, with star striker Sam Kerr currently among the world's best players -- a situation which gave fuel to the push for a more equitable pay deal.
"This agreement is the product of generations of Matildas and their supporters advocating for real change," Former Matilda and FFA Head of Game Development, Sarah Walsh said.
"This moment belongs to all of them as well." (XINHUA)