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FIFPro, the World Players’ Association, is shocked to hear about the disrespectful treatment of the Australian Women’s National Team (the Matildas) by the country’s Football Association (FFA). FIFPro offers its full support to the fight of the Matildas, the Socceroos (Men’s National Team) and all A-League players for a fair Collective Bargaining Agreement.

During a special meeting of the FIFPro Women’s Football Committee at the global players’ association’s headquarter in The Netherlands, the Committee and Secretary General Theo van Seggelen were informed about the latest developments in Australia. This Wednesday morning, the Matildas decided to abandon their training camp and cancel their trip to the United States of America where they were to play two friendlies against World Champions USA. They will only make their appearance when there is a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between PFA Australia and the FFA.

FIFPro is one hundred per cent behind the Matildas,” Van Seggelen said. “It is good to see the solidarity amongst the Australian football players, who are trying to secure a whole-of-game agreement, that they are all fighting for their joint benefit.”

Though shocked, Van Seggelen was not surprised by the disrespectful treatment the Matildas received on Tuesday when a large group of players wanted to attend a special meeting between the PFA and the FFA. They were belittled and informed they were not welcome at the talks.

Van Seggelen: “It is unheard of that in the 21st century we still have football federations, like the FFA in Australia, that fully ignore the fact that they are treating female players differently from males. If they expect the best performances from their female players, they should also create an optimal professional environment which allows these players to excel at the highest level, just as they do with the Socceroos. Apparently, the FFA executives still need to be educated about gender equality.”

Caroline Jönsson, Head of the Women’s Football Committee, added, “We admire and welcome the battle by PFA Australia and their players. Disputes such as these show us the persistent problems in women’s football, where gender equality is often non-existent.”

“This dispute is not about making the same amount of money as the male players. This is about equal rights. This is about equal opportunities to deliver the highest performance possible. The FFA expects the Matildas to be fulltime professional players, but then it should also treat them as such. That is what this fight is all about.”

“There is absolutely no justification for female footballers to receive different conditions than their male counterparts.”

Almost immediately after the Matildas announced their decision, the FIFPro Women’s Football Committee was contacted by female players from all over the world, including members of the US Women’s National Team, showing solidarity with their Australian colleagues.

“These reactions once again show the growing potential among female footballers to fight for their rights, to fight for equality,” Jönsson concluded.

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Caroline Jönsson and Lydia Williams


About the dispute between the Matildas and the FFA

The FFA has failed to recognise the significant sacrifices the Matildas players are forced to make in playing for their country. Their proposal would see players continue to be:

  • unfairly remunerated for the work they undertake;
  • denied access to a high performance environment, which dramatically reduces their ability to compete with the world’s best; and
  • restricted in their ability to grow the women’s game.

Said Adam Vivian, PFA Executive Director: “The players have sought to have their contribution to the game respected. The current proposal from FFA highlights their unwillingness to meaningfully address the core issues.”

Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams said the players stand united in this action. “This was an extremely difficult decision to make. However it’s simply unfair to continue to expect us to make enormous sacrifices to play for Australia.”

“For the past two months the players have been unpaid and have made every attempt to reach an agreement that gives the women’s game a platform for growth.”

“This is about the future of Australian football. We want to establish football as the sport of choice for Australian women, and we want to be one of the best nations in the world.”

“FFA’s stance indicates that they do not share these ambitions, nor do they understand and respect what we have given to the game. We are simply asking FFA do their bit so we can grow the game together.”

Also read: Matildas withdraw from USA tour


For more about the dispute between PFA Australia and the FFA also read:

Socceroos boycott FA commercial events