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Australian Women's And Men's Soccer Will Get Equal Share Of Revenue

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The U.S. women's soccer team, the 2019 World Cup champion, is still fighting for pay equity with their male counterparts.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But there is one team who just made that goal a reality - the women's team from Australia, known as the Matildas. After years of negotiations, they reached a landmark deal ensuring the women who represent Australia are paid the same as the men.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SARAH WALSH: It's hard to not be sentimental about today because it's a massive moment for football.

GREENE: That is Sarah Walsh, a former pro on the Matildas. She helped lead the negotiations.

MARTIN: And the deal is historic. I mean, not only does it ensure equal pay, it also gives an even split of commercial revenue. And the Matildas now have access to the same training facilities as the male players. Elise Kellond-Knight is one of the Matildas' stars.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELISE KELLOND-KNIGHT: This new deal is enormous. As a female footballer, it's kind of what we've always dreamed of. We've always wanted to be treated equal. We wanted to be able to step out on that pitch with equal opportunity and the equal facilities that the men have been exposed to.

GREENE: She says this is going to enable the next crop of Matildas to shine at World Cups in the future.

KELLOND-KNIGHT: The big win is for this younger generation. So they're looking at this new deal. Now they're thinking - wow, I can make a go of this. I think it's phenomenal. I think it's just going to attract more females to the game.

GREENE: Australia joins New Zealand and Norway in placing female and male players on the same pay scale. The world champion, team USA, as we said, is still absent from that list.

MARTIN: Mediation efforts between the U.S. women's team and U.S. Soccer fell apart. That battle is now set to head to court next year, just months before the 2020 Olympics.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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