Dutch women's national team reaches agreement for equal pay ahead of World Cup

The Netherlands national women’s soccer team will receive increased compensation from its association for the next four years until it reaches an equal payout with the men’s national team in 2023, per a report by Netherlands public service broadcaster NOS.

KNVB, the Royal Dutch Football Association, reportedly announced the news on its website Monday. A prior deal runs out after the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, set to begin in France this weekend.

Equal pay for Dutch national team

The players on the women’s national team will see gradually increased pay for the next few years until it falls in line with the men’s salary in 2023. From then on, per the report, all players will be “rewarded equally.”

Star Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema told NOS, per Google Translate:

"It is really nice that we are taking a big step towards an equal appreciation for men and women who play for Orange. We hope that this will open the doors for future internationals."

There were no figures disclosed for how much either team receives upon playing in a tournament nor how large the gap is between them.

The KNVB website states the numbers of girls playing in their youth system continues to grow. In a 2017 piece on the growth of girls’ and women’s football, it cited a study showing 70 percent of the Dutch are interested in women’s soccer and noted how quickly tickets sell out for tournaments.

Previous deal ran out this World Cup

The Netherlands, known as the Orange Lionesses, first competed in the European championship in 2009 and reached the semifinals. They played in the 2015 World Cup in Canada, won the European championship in 2017 and are back at the World Cup in France this week as a “dark horse” to take the title.

In November 2017, the Dutch minister for sport pushed the KNVB to narrow the gap between the payouts in order to give the women’s game a more professional status and not leave it amateur.

Miedema told Inside World Football then:

“It’s really important as we put the exact same effort into our national side as the men do. I think you deserve the same. We are European champions. The men don’t even qualify for the World Cup, don’t qualify for the Euros. It’s fair to say we deserve as much money as them right now. All due respect but our men’s team make millions a year, way more than the Norwegian team. Our association is so rich and we hope we’ll get a better deal as well.”

A deal was reached in December 2017 as a “recognition of the position which the Dutch women are now in,” director Jan Dirk van der Zee told the Dutch News. Stipends for international selections and bonuses for qualifying and progressing in tournaments were “increased sharply,” he said, though they did not equal the men’s earnings for the same things.

The deal runs out at the end of the 2019 World Cup.

US women put own fight on ‘backburner’

The Norwegian women’s team reached a deal in October 2017, making them the first nation to receive equal payouts as the men.

The U.S. National Women’s Team is in a long-running fight for equal pay, with the latest chapter filed against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March. They are suing over “institutionalized gender discrimination” with compelling arguments.

The players are demanding as much money as the men’s team gets seeing as they win more often, including the 2015 World Cup title. Co-captain Carli Lloyd told Yahoo Sports that battle is “kind of on the backburner right now” as the team goes for a repeat championship 20 years after the 1999 USWNT began a legacy.

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 01: Netherlands players are singing during their send-off for the World Cup during the Women's International Friendly between Netherlands vs Australia at Phillips Stadium on June 1, 2019 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images)
Netherlands women's players will receive equal pay to the men's players by 2023 from the governing association. (Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images)

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