FAI in negotiations to equalise pay across Ireland men's and women's national teams

In contrast to the €2,500 basic fee received by Stephen Kenny’s players for representing their country, Vera Pauw’s squad are paid a measly €500
FAI in negotiations to equalise pay across Ireland men's and women's national teams

Players at a Republic of Ireland training session last year. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Equalisation of pay among the men’s and women’s football teams is firmly in the FAI’s thinking, according to chief executive Jonathan Hill.

The Association has faced calls from the Government to replicate other associations such as Brazil, Norway, England, and New Zealand by paying their senior players the same fee for international appearances.

In contrast to the €2,500 basic fee received by Stephen Kenny’s players for representing their country, Vera Pauw’s squad are paid a measly €500.

Among those publicly supporting the campaign to rectify the imbalance is Ireland full-back Matt Doherty.

Hill, speaking after Sunday’s FAI annual general meeting, which was held virtually, seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of parity. He began his tenure last November, becoming the first permanent chief executive since John Delaney’s demise began in March 2019.

“We are in negotiations at the moment in relation to finding a way to equalise an approach to that match fee situation,” confirmed the FAI supremo.

“It is certainly very much in our thinking. As soon as we develop those conversations, we will announce that accordingly.”

Pressed for his personal opinion on a trend that is taking flight, said: “I think the approach that is used for men and women should be the same, yes.

“In other words, we should have the same approach to tournament bonus and tournament qualification.

“The quantum that that approach might refer to is dependent on obviously the decisions of both Uefa and Fifa as to how much they are going to pay for those bonuses but, yes, we should strive to have equality in that approach.” 

Ireland have yet to feature at a women’s major senior tournament but the objective of frequent qualifications is part of a strategy document shared with the 100 voting members on today’s summit that lasted two hours.

International success figures as one of the six pillars on the blueprint, covering the period from 2022 to 2025. It states as part of its vision that “we will be on track to have our senior teams qualify for at least every second major tournament.” 

Vera Pauw will be at the helm again when Ireland kick off their quest to reach the 2023 World Cup in September. They open by travelling to bottom seeds Georgia before meeting the two countries ranked above them, Finland and Olympic qualifiers Sweden, in October.

The men’s team have qualified for only one of the last four major tournaments and face an uphill task to salvage a route to the next one, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Ireland lost both of their opening qualifiers in March against Serbia and Luxembourg.

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