New Zealand Football has just announced a landmark deal that will see the nation's elite female footballers receive the same pay, prize money share, rights for image use, and business class travel as their male counterparts.
The Football Ferns (ranked 20th in the FIFA women's world rankings) and the All Whites (ranked 133rd in the men's FIFA rankings) have come together and finalised their collective bargaining agreement, New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin said.
"[The Football Ferns] are role models for the 30,000 female players throughout our country," Martin said. "It is important to recognise their contribution and form a revised agreement.
"It is an exciting time for football in this country."
The agreement follows the recent launch of the Kate Sheppard Cup in New Zealand and the expansion of the Women’s National League to two round (home and away) for the upcoming season.
The gender pay gap in professional football is widespread globally.
The most recent figures from the Sporting Intelligence annual salary survey found the salary of male Brazilian forward Neymar is about as much as all 1,693 female players in the top leagues in France, Germany, England, the US, Sweden, Australia and Mexico combined.
His A$58.42 million annual pay packet doesn't include the money Neymar makes from commercial endorsements. All of the players in the U.S. National Women's Soccer League earn A$7.2 million collectively annually.
In the UK, soccer players’ multimillion-pound salaries have made the gender pay gap even bigger than that which exists in banks. Popular club Manchester City said women earn 88% less than men on an hourly basis.
Late last year, Norway's football associations signed an agreement in which both national teams (men's and women's) would receive a total of six million kroner (about A$1.1 million) each in 2018.
Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Gina Rushton at email@example.com.
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