Swedish men's football team to play remaining matches of 2020 without pay to support women's team's demand for equal pay
The Sweden men's national squad 'will forgo all financial compensation for their autumn matches...to make it possible to coordinate negotiations with the women's team,' a statement on its website said.
Stockholm: The Swedish men's football squad said Friday they would play the remainder of their matches this year without pay in order to support the women's national team's demand for equal pay.
Given the Swedish Football Association's strained financial situation, the men's national squad "will forgo all financial compensation for their autumn matches...to make it possible to coordinate negotiations with the women's team," a statement on its website said.
Sweden's Equality Ombudsman — a government agency that promotes equal rights and combats discrimination — last month ruled that the association had not discriminated against the women's team by paying them lower wages than their male counterparts.
Real Madrid's Kosovare Asllani said in an Instagram post on Thursday that equal pay was "about respect", and noted Sweden's reputation as a longstanding champion of gender equality.
"Gender equality is also one of the Swedish Football Association's core values," she wrote.
She said the women's team was paid 24 percent of what the men's team received in 2018-19.
"And when we won the (World Cup) bronze last year we got 10 percent of what the men got when they made it to the quarter-finals."
Brazil on Wednesday joined Australia, Norway and New Zealand on the list of football associations who had publicly committed to paying their men and women players the same amount for earning a senior cap. England has also done so since January.
In March 2019, the US women's team, the current world champions, sued their federation alleging discrimination over pay and conditions.
A judge dismissed their case in May this year but the team have appealed that ruling.
Copa America 2021: Tournament left without a host country after CONMEBOL rules out Argentina amid rising COVID-19 cases
CONMEBOL said on Sunday on Twitter — and it was later confirmed by an official — that they were analysing “the offer of other nations who showed interest in hosting the continental tournament,” without naming them.
Following the unprecedented decision to postpone the competition in March last year at the start of the pandemic, the health crisis is not over and COVID-19 will continue to cast a shadow over this European Championship.
Messi's contract with Barcelona, the club the talismanic forward has represented throughout his senior career at, expires on 30 June.