Matildas withdraw from pre-USA tour camp

The stakes have been raised in Professional Footballers Australia’s dispute with the FFA as the Matildas players withdrawing their Sydney based pre-USA tour camp.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make,” said PFA Committee member and Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

“However it’s simply unfair to continue to expect us to make enormous sacrifices to play for Australia.”

“For the past two months the players have been unpaid and have made every attempt to reach an agreement that gives the women’s game a platform for growth.”

“This is about the future of Australian football. We want to establish football as the sport of choice for Australian women, and we want to be one of the best nations in the world.”

“FFA’s stance indicates that they do not share these ambitions, nor do they understand and respect what we have given to the game. We are simply asking FFA do their bit so we can grow the game together.”

In a statement released this afternoon, PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian confirmed the players’ decision to not attend the camp after further talks with FFA failed to secure a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

With the Matildas last CBA ending at the conclusion of their 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup there is currently no binding agreement in relation to the players pay and conditions.

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“This decision has not been taken lightly, however the players feel they have been left with little option as the current proposal is simply unacceptable,” said Vivian

“FFA has failed to recognise the significant sacrifices the Matildas players are forced to make in playing for their country.

“Their proposal would see players continue to be:

>> unfairly remunerated for the work they undertake;

>> denied access to a high performance environment, which dramatically reduces their ability to compete with the world’s best; and

>> restricted in their ability to grow the women’s game.

The Matildas action comes on the back of the Socceroos declining corporate events ahead of last week’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Perth.

Currently the Socceroos, Matildas and A-League players have no CBA with the FFA and this is the first time all three are negotiating together.

“The players would like to thank the public for their longstanding support and encourage the Australian football community to back us in our fight to ensure the rights of female athletes are protected,” Williams concluded.

Full Statement on PFA Website

In response the FFA condemned the PFA’s actions stating it was taken without notice and is “disrupting the Matildas preparations for the matches against the world champions USA this month.”

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The upcoming tour of the USA is now in jeopardy with the Matildas scheduled to leave next week for the two match series on 17 and 20 September.

FFA said they believed their offer to the Matildas was fair and included:

  • Significant increases in spending on air travel, accommodation and benefits for Matildas players.
  • FFA and PFA had previously agreed the priority for new funding for the Matildas would be devoted to an immediate 10% pay increase, with annual increases rising to 15% across the term of the CBA.

The FFA also stated that the PFA had tabled a “fresh set of demands and withdrew from previously agreed positions.”

“Today FFA entered the talks in good faith with the intention of finalising the CBA, based on assurances from the PFA’s leadership that the parties were not far apart,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.

“It’s sad that the Matildas have been dragged into a dispute that’s primarily about the A-League. The offer to the Matildas would basically double their pay over the next four years.”

“The new demands are simply not affordable and the PFA knows it.”

“FFA will continue to pursue an agreement that’s sensible and protects the interests of the game, it’s time to reach agreement and stop the game-playing.”

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