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Brazilian Women’s Football Team Gets Equal Pay

Salil Kale

16th September 2020

“There is no more gender difference; the CBF is treating men and women equally,” said Rogerio Caboclo. (Source: FIFA.com)

Amidst the chaos and turmoil brought about by the outbreak of COVID-19, a historic move to say the least, and a much-awaited one has been brought to effect by the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF), that would enable Brazil national women’s football team to receive the same pay as the men’s national team. The CBF said that salary and prize money for each player, regardless of gender, will be the same.

We live in the day and age where a sportsperson is seen as an entity whose talent can be bought or sold. This is the era in which a sport is taken as a commodity where consumers pay to watch it, or see the potential exchange value that can be drawn from it.

Considering this in the Indian scenario, an instance that stands out for me is the disparity that exists between the pay of a male and a female cricketer. Now, why is there a disparity? It is due to the difference in the revenue that is generated between the men’s and the women’s game. But in hindsight, it is quite unfair that there are two people who do the same job, but for pay as different as crores of rupees.

The move by CBF is a small step to eradicating a much bigger issue of gender disparity. CBF head Rogerio Caboclo affirmed, “Since March this year, the CBF has equalled the prize money and daily rates between men’s and women’s football. Women will receive the same daily rate as those who already receive them”. He made the stance of the CBF clear by stating, “There is no more gender difference; the CBF is treating men and women equally”.

The pay gap between men’s and women’s football was brought to the public eye after the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) sued their parent organization US Soccer last year, for poor working conditions and disparity in earnings between men and women. The judge, however, ruled against the national women’s team and any bid to appeal the decision was denied. This was not how it was supposed to end for USWNT. It is almost laughable that the US Men’s National Team (USMNT), who failed to qualify for the previous world cup earn more than USWNT, the winners of their last two world cups ever could.

There are multiple other nations working towards equal pay for their women’s football teams, foremost being Australia, Norway and New Zealand right after the protest by the USWNT. According to India Today, the Football Federation of Australia (FFA), in November, said that the players’ union were working on a solution that will put an end to the issue of salary disparities between men and women.

As reported by The Telegraph, an exuberant Pia Sundhage, the coach of the Brazil women’s national football team, joyously expressed, “This is historic. Being a part of this is very special, I’m very grateful”. She also celebrated the fact that the first woman- Duda Luizelli- was put in charge of coordinating the women’s national team.

The Brazilian men’s team has been one of the most successful in the sport, winning the FIFA World Cup five times. And, the women’s team is not to have reached the World Cup finals in 2007 and the Olympic finals in both 2004 and 2008.

A saddened Megan Rapinoe, captain of USWNT on twitter said, “We will never stop fighting for equality,” while it is appalling that equality is something that has to be fought for.

(Sources: India Today, CNN, Telegraph, FIFA.com)

Edited by Pratheek S

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