Historic agreement: women's national football team achieves wage equality

It will be applied retroactively and will also affect important areas of women's football players' day-to-day lives

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The national team players during a training session

BarcelonaA giant step forward for the professionalisation of women's football. After months of negotiations, Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), will announce this Tuesday salary equality between the women's and men's national teams, retroactively. Spain thus takes another step forward in the recognition of its players, who are candidates to win the European Championship which will be held in July in the United Kingdom.

"The negotiations have always been very positive. Logically there have been moments of deadlock, but both sides have always wanted a fruitful agreement. And in the end it was only a matter of time before it was achieved," sources in the negotiations, which began last December, told ARA. This agreement has finally arrived thanks to the active role played by the captains of the national team – Irene Paredes, Jenni Hermoso and Alexia Putellas – who as leaders of the national team's dressing room have spearheaded the negotiation with the Federation. "The RFEF has never refused to reach an agreement, they have always put in whatever was needed to move forward with the negotiations and thus reach an understanding," these sources maintain. They have had the advice and support of FUTPRO (the main female football players' union) and Reyes Bellver, an internationally recognised lawyer specialising in sports law.

In the agreement, in addition to establishing "economic equality between the men's and women's national teams", an equal distribution of UEFA and FIFA prizes is also set. In the document, compromises have also been reached in areas that affect the day-to-day life of the women's national team players, such as improved travel conditions and regulations of image and sponsorship rights deals, with "significant economic compensation" for the players.

Spain thus follows in the path of Norway, which was the first country to guarantee the same salaries to its footballers, regardless of their gender, back in 2017. It has since been followed by other countries such as Denmark, England, the Netherlands, Brazil or Australia. The last country to implement this decision was the United States where the federation and female players reached a historic agreement to close the conflict with a $24m compensation fund to counter discrimination, in addition to the agreement for equal pay.