Matilda on star Alanna Kennedy has rejected the idea that not enough people are watching women’s football, after the team the latest video calling for a gender reward gap ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The nearly three-minute joint speech was put together by Professional Footballers Australia – the players’ union that represents the Matildas and Socceroos.
When asked about the controversy behind the pay gap between men’s and women’s sports, Kennedy was firm in his assessment.
“Controversy is good sometimes, I think for us it’s just trying to highlight the positives and how we can continue to raise our voice with the skills we have and how people support us,” he said. .
“Every time you get ‘nobody’s watching women’s football’ (comment), that just gives you goosebumps, for us it’s not true.
“We’ve sold out our games and there’s a lot of people coming to watch, you always have to take out the positives instead of looking at them through a negative lens.”
FIFA announced recently that the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup will increase to $161 million, up from just $44 million for the 2019 World Cup in France. Each player will also be paid $44,000 by the governing body for their participation in the tournament.
The FA has committed to paying Matildas stars the same amount as the men.
The Matildas have called for a gender pay gap with FIFA
Last year’s men’s World Cup had an estimated prize pool of $644 million. FIFA has said it wants to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, but the PFA says it has no plan or commitment to do so.
Kennedy added that there was a need for “examination” of the situation.
“It would be a lost opportunity for us not to focus, obviously the football is going to be amazing but I think there will be a lot of things we can continue to build on to improve our game,” he said.
“I’ve said before, we have a good relationship between the players, the PFA and the FFA, and I think we’ve done something to create equality in Australia and if we can shine a light on that and help other countries. teams as well (that’s great).
“This video was very much about the legacy we want to leave to the next generation and how we can inspire more young Australians, girls and boys, through this World Cup and I think it would be a missed opportunity not to use our voices for positive change.”
Fellow defender Clare Hunt added to the importance of using the World Cup as a way to bring attention to current wages.
“I think the previous video that was released was very compelling, and we know where we are now and we want to use this to our advantage and show what Australian women, and women around the world are. playing football, I can participate in the game,” he said.
“We want to pave the way for our athletes in Australia and other countries to be supported, and have the opportunity to become world-class athletes.”
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