Brazil’s football federation announced on Wednesday it will pay men and women the same amount for representing the national team, one of the few countries to make such a pledge.
“The CBF has equalled the prize money and allowances between men’s and women’s football, which means the women players will earn the same as the men," said the federation’s president Rogerio Caboclo.
It means Brazil’s little known female players such as Marta, Formiga and Leticia Santos will receive the same fees and allowances as global superstars such as Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino.
Australia, Norway and New Zealand are amongst the nations to previously decide to pay their men and women internationals the same amount.
In March 2019, the US women’s team, the current world champions, sued their federation alledging discrimination over pay and conditions.
A judge dismissed their case in May this year but the team appealed.
Brazil’s football association CBF said its decision was communicated to the women’s team and their Swedish coach Pia Sundhage in March.
“This is historic. Being a part of this is very special, I’m very grateful," said Sundhage, who also welcomed the news that for the first time a woman, Duda Luizelli, has been put in charge of co-ordinating the national women’s team.
Equal pay was first applied back in March when Brazil took part in the invitational Tournoi de France, finishing last out of four sides.
The measure will be applied to the national teams participating in the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo next year, as well as the next men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments.
“It will be proportionally the same as what FIFA proposes for women, that is to say, there will be no more gender difference in remuneration between men and women," said Caboclo, the federation president.
The men’s team is the most successful in football having won the World Cup a record five times.
They have also won their continental championship, the Copa America, nine times, most recently on home soil in 2019.
But the women’s team is also amongst the strongest in the game, having reached the World Cup final in 2007 and back-to-back Olympic finals in 2004 and 2008.
The CBF said later in a statement that equal pay was “part of the journey of transformation" towards equality in football, the most popular sport in the country, which has 36 professional clubs.
Last year, the Brazilian professional league also authorized equal prize money for women and men.
However, when it comes to club football, the gap in pay between men and women, not just in Brazil but all over the world, remains huge.
The highest paid players in the women’s game earn six-figure salaries, while male players such as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus take home sums more than 100 times greater.