This is huge.
The Football Association of Ireland has announced that the men and women’s teams will finally receive equal pay for international games.
The organisation announced today that the men’s team will have a reduction in their international fees, while the women’s fees will be raised.
The news is a long time coming, but definitely a step in the right direction.
FAI’s chief executive Jonathan Hill described the decision as “an important milestone”.
In 2017, the women’s team addressed the inequality they endure at a press conference. In it, they said that they were being treated as “fifth class citizens” in comparison to the male counterparts, and cited a general lack of facilities.
Team captain Katie McCabe welcomed the news, which followed a lengthy campaign for equality.
She said: “This is a great day for Irish football. We have taken a huge step forward with this deal and have shown the world what can be achieved through unity as we offer male and female players the same opportunities.
“I am very proud as Ireland captain of the work that has been put in to get us to this point, not just by the current team but by so many Irish players in the past. They are the real heroes in this story, they took a stand and they passed on the baton to the current generation.”
She added: “Seamus Coleman and his team-mates in the senior men’s squad also deserve credit for being brave enough to support us in such a progressive way on this issue. It is really appreciated.”
The news was also welcomed by Coleman himself, who spoke on behalf of the men’s team.
He said: “We are delighted as players to do what we can to ensure that our female international players are treated equally and fairly and we remain fully committed to doing whatever we can to achieve that goal together.
“This deal is the right one for everyone who plays international football for Ireland, no matter which team they represent. We have been working towards this agreement for some time now with Katie, Jonathan and Ciaran and I hope this acts as an inspiration to many other nations to follow suit.”
Images by Stephen McCarthy via Sportsfile.