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Levelling the playing field

28 June, 2024

While England’s Euro 2024 team may not be scoring many goals yet, Denmark’s squad have pulled off a game-changing move to close the gender pay gap in soccer. 

Denmark’s men’s team players refused a pay rise to ensure the women’s national team earn equal basic match fees. This powerful step aims to improve conditions for women’s national teams and sends a strong message about fair play and equal pay. The agreement was finalised in a new four-year deal with the Danish Football Association.

Denmark now joins a global movement that includes countries like England, the United States, Wales, Australia, Norway, and Brazil. These nations have publicly committed to paying their senior male and female football players the same match fee for representing their country. At a league level, the picture is very different: Lewes Football Club is currently the only professional or semi-professional club in the world that treats its women footballers equally by providing the same playing budgets, pitch, and training facilities as the men.

However, more bold play is needed to tackle the gender pay gap. A recent report by Women in Football (WIF) highlighted the challenges faced by women working in football. Shockingly, 89% of surveyed women reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Even more concerning, over 60% of those who reported incidents said no action was taken, and 16% felt unheard. Let’s hope other national and club teams follow Denmark’s lead and step up to address these issues.

By Alice Railton

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