- Cypriot parliament amends law to eliminate inequality between men’s and women’s national teams
- Cyprus women’s national team started their fight for equality in 2019
- They won the 2020 FIFPRO Merit Award for their campaign
Cyprus’ parliament announced it will amend a law to eliminate inequality between men’s and women’s national teams, in what is a big win for the country’s women’s athletes and player union Pancyprian Footballers Association (PASP).
"After years of painstaking efforts, we have achieved one of our greatest goals," Spyros Neofytides, the executive president of PASP, told FIFPRO.
In November 2019, the players of the Cyprus women’s national team launched an initiative to acquire the same working conditions as the men’s national team, including training facilities, daily allowances and equipment.
Despite serious pressure by the Cypriot Football Association (CFA), who tried to silence them by excluding them from the national team and threatening to ruin their careers, the players continued their protest, which turned into a national debate. The women's players received support from the men’s national team and many other athletes, fans, members of parliament, and the Commissioner on Equality Matters.
Their persistence led to a huge success: earlier this month, the parliament decided to amend Article 5 of the Cypriot Sports Law, which now eliminates any form of inequality in benefits for men and women representing Cyprus national teams. According to the amended legislation, the Cyprus Sports Organisation – who are responsible for all sports in Cyprus – has to ensure and promote gender equality in sport.
Pancyprian Footballers Association
• Division: Europe
• Established: 1987
• FIFPRO Member since: 2005
• Website: pasp.org.cy
“Essentially, there will be no difference between men and women in terms of daily allowance, travel compensation, remuneration for matches, and expenses for clothing, footwear and food,” said Neofytides.
The law amendment forces the CFA to arrange that men’s and women’s players enjoy the same working conditions.
"Our joy is twofold,” said Neofytides. “Firstly because we managed to get this amendment realised, and secondly, because we actively participated in this effort to eradicate this inequality from sports.”
'A victory for all Cypriot women's athletes'
Loukritia Chrysostomou, the captain of the women’s national team, said the amendment of the law "is a great vindication for women's footballers but also a great victory for all Cypriot women's athletes".
Chrysostomou, who is also a player of Aris Limassol and a PASP board member, added: "Although we live in a society that promotes gender equality, this is not the reality in many work areas. Legislation is now officially in place in sports, and we expect that the federations abide by the law and that the competent authorities enforce the new law."
According to union president Neofytides, the women’s players still have an important task to fulfil. “They must claim what they are entitled to and dare to denounce those organisations who are breaking the law,” he said. “We have made an important step. However, we still have a lot of work to do to arrange that all athletes experience gender equality in Cyprus."