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The FAI has announced that they will pay the athletes of their national women’s and men’s teams equally after reaching an agreement.
The historic three-way deal between the men’s and women’s squad and the FAI was brokered by FAI CEO Jonathan Hill and Ciaran Medlar, advisor to the male and female international players, alongside captains Katie McCabe and Seamus Coleman.
Ongoing discussions between all parties led to a successful conclusion in the run-up to the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers involving Stephen Kenny’s senior men’s team and Vera Pauw’s women’s senior team.
The men’s team has agreed to reduce their international fees, with the FAI equalizing their contribution to ensure the senior women’s team’s match fees are increased and all male and female players receive the same match fee from the September international window.
The FAI has also agreed to an equal approach from the senior men’s and senior women’s squads with regard to any future tournament qualifiers.
Katie McCabe welcomed today’s announcement, saying: “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 if we give male and female international players the same opportunities.
“I am very proud as Ireland captain of the work that has been done 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 took a stand and passed the baton to the current generation.
“Seamus Coleman and his teammates on the Senior Men’s squad also deserve credit for being brave enough to support us in such a forward-thinking way on this matter. It is really appreciated.
“I would also like to thank Jonathan Hill and Ciaran Medlar for their role in this agreement. The relationship between the FAI and the Senior Women’s team is stronger than I’ve ever known and we look forward to continuing to work together to make Irish football better for everyone who plays our game, regardless of their identity or background.”
Senior Ireland Men’s Team Captain Seamus Coleman added: “On behalf of the Senior Men’s squad, I welcome this news today. We are excited 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 everything possible to achieve that goal together.
“This deal is the right one for anyone who plays international football for Ireland, regardless of the team they represent.
“We have been working on this agreement with Katie, Jonathan and Ciaran for a while and I hope it inspires many other countries to follow suit.”
FAI Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Hill commented: “On behalf of the FAI Board and myself, we are pleased to announce this historic agreement today. As we celebrate our centenary and begin to work out the strategic plan for a new FAI, the board unanimously agreed that this is absolutely the right choice for us as an association.
“This is another important milestone in the FAI’s own transformation and I believe this equal pay program demonstrates that we are the progressive football nation we have always wanted to be.
“It is also another step forward in our key strategic goal to grow women’s football in Ireland in a sustainable and systematic way. I have been working on this agreement with Katie, Seamus and Ciaran for several months now.
“Katie and her teammates are role models for all young girls playing football in Ireland, while the actions of Seamus and his fellow players in our Senior Men’s roster to enable this equal pay proposal should not be underestimated.
“When the proposal was first discussed, the Board of Directors was also united in its commitment to support the approach we believe is the right path for a modern, progressive and inclusive sports organisation.
“Our female footballers have worked tirelessly to get to this point and I am delighted to see their aspirations for equality become a reality with today’s announcement, an announcement that everyone involved in Irish sport should celebrate. We wish Vera, Katie and the whole team all the best for their upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign.”
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