Wales’s men’s and women’s football teams to get equal pay after deal agreed

Male players will have a 25% pay cut to enable 25% rise for female players under agreement with governing body FAW

Players for Wales’s men’s and women’s football teams will be paid the same for playing for their country after a deal was struck by Wales’s governing body.

The agreement with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) comes into effect immediately and will cover up to the 2026 Fifa men’s World Cup and the women’s tournament a year later.

It will mean a 25% pay cut for the men’s team to enable a rise of the same amount for the women’s side.

“I am really happy about the equal pay, it is about equality,” said the Wales women’s team manager, Gemma Grainger.

Grainger, who has a deal to manage the team until the World Cup in 2027, told BBC Sport Wales: “We want our players to embody Together Stronger, the collaboration with the men’s team is something we want to continue.

“Equality and making sure what we have here is equal is so important to us. The women’s game is growing and will continue to grow.”

The deal also won the public approval of Hal Robson-Kanu, the retired winger who scored against Belgium in Wales’s historic run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

“A monumental moment that I have no doubt is inspiring many young girls around the country right now. Very proud,” he tweeted.

Similar deals have been in place for players representing England and the Republic of Ireland since deals in January 2020 and August 2021 respectively.

Talks between Scotland’s women’s national football team and the Scottish FA broke down, leading to players taking legal action.

Discussions between the FAW chief executive, Noel Mooney, and a senior leadership group, including the country’s most-capped player Jess Fishlock, began in November 2021.

Fishlock, a 36-year-old midfielder who has played for Wales 119 times since 2006, had previously called the previous arrangement “unacceptable”.

Fellow member of the leadership group, the team captain Sophie Ingle, tweeted on Wednesday that she was “proud of everyone involved”.

A joint statement released by Wales’s men’s and women’s teams said: “Together Stronger has been the mantra across the Cymru national teams for us all, both on and off the pitch as we look to put Wales on the world stage.

“As part of the FAW’s strive towards equality, we are now proud to announce that together, our men’s and women’s teams have agreed to an equal pay structure for future international matches.

“We hope that this will allow future generations of boys and girls to see that there is equality across Welsh international football, which is important for society as a whole.

“With this agreement in place, we will now look ahead to the Euro 2024 and 2025 qualifying campaigns, as we aim to see further success across both our senior teams in the near future.”

Mooney said: “The FAW is a modern, progressive movement that seeks to improve each day.

“This is another step towards becoming one of the world’s great sports organisations and we thank both the men’s and women’s squads for their brilliant cooperation in getting this agreed.”


Harry Taylor

The GuardianTramp

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