Scotland women's football team are taking legal action against the Scottish Football Association over inequalities in pay and treatment between the men and women’s game.
Led by captain and Aston Villa defender, Rachel Corsie, the team are striking forward into the legal world to challenge pay arrangements in the sport.
‘After years of iniquity, disrespect, and in some cases abuse, we have a historic opportunity to advance equal pay and to promote equality for women and girls in football,’ says Rachel.
‘This campaign is about parity, and we’ll be seeking to engage with the Scottish Football Association, the fans, and everyone in Scotland’s football community to deliver this long overdue change.’
The major step, fully funded by Professional Football Association Scotland, will be making use of existing pay arrangements from around the world to argue for equality. It was only last year that the United States women’s team reached a £17.7 million settlement with US Soccer after a hard-fought six year legal battle over pay.
Rachel Corsie and the team will fight for an equal contract on pay, training facilities, hotels, travel, kit, and medical and nutritional resources, to bring them alongside what the men’s team already receive.
High-profile players from women’s football have come out in support for Scotland’s empowering call for change.
‘For so many years we’ve felt an afterthought, and whilst we have seen growth it’s come as a result of driving our own change,’ says Real Madrid midfielder, Caroline Weir. ‘Payments from sponsorship deals overwhelmingly go to the men’s game, and to male players.’
Chelsea midfielder, Erin Cuthbert, also adds: ‘This campaign must be the start of an irreversible turning point to forever change our national game, and the way women players are treated. It’s about advancing and achieving equality in Scottish football.’
The Scottish Football Association has responded to calls for equality by insisting that it shares the view that equality should be at the heart of the game.
‘It is why we have been in ongoing dialogue with the women’s national team, their lawyers, advisors and union representatives to continue to support the exponential growth of the women’s game and inspire future generations,’ the SFA says in a statement.
The statement also points out that no national team player has been paid to play for Scotland and that both squads receive a ‘per diem rate for their time with the national team, which has been exactly the same since 2017.’
After the success of the England women’s team at the Euro’s this summer, major advances have been made to close the gap between the women’s and men’s game and put the spotlight on inequality in sport.
‘As a player you want to be part of the national team and when you turn up, the focus can be performance and doing your job,’ Corsie tells SkyNews. ‘We want to find a way where that’s possible again, and going forward we’re in a place whereby the environment feels appropriate, encouraging and elite.’
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