Strike Causes ‘Matildas’ To Miss USWNT Friendlies

AustraliaWNTWith the U.S. Women’s National Team in the midsts of its Victory Tour following its World Cup victory this past summer, two matches originally scheduled against Australia will now feature the Haitian women’s team.

Known as the Matildas, the Australian women’s team has officially cancelled its U.S. tour following stalled contract talks between the Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), the union representing male and female players.

The Associated Press reported that the collective bargaining agreement between the Australian women’s team and the FFA expired in July and the team has not been paid in two months. The women’s team is seeing a wage increase from $14,475 annually to $28,000, improvement in accommodations and other unnamed benefits.

U.S. Soccer said Haiti would replace Australia in the matches in Detroit on Sept. 17 and Birmingham, Alabama, on Sept. 20. Each match has sold more than 31,000 tickets.

The Australian team’s pay issues received support from U.S. players Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson, who is also Australian.

Solo tweeted, “Only #respect for @TheMatildas. Will miss competing against their great team, but proud of their fight for what’s right! #equality.” Lloyd wrote, “@TheMatildas are courageously fighting for what is right. #priclessrolemodels.”

Fox Soccer quoted Jackson as saying, ”It’s time that we start being remunerated in a way that represents how important we are on the world stage. There’s a huge sacrifice for women in sport. When you are performing on the world stage and you are the best in the world, you should be treated that way.”