The FAI has announced that the men's and women's senior international teams will now receive the same match fees while on international duty.
The association confirmed this afternoon that the men's senior team had agreed to a reduction in their international fees, with the association agreeing to match that contribution with a rise in fees paid to the women's team.
The statement said that the "historic three-way agreement" between the men's and women’s squads and the FAI was brokered by FAI CEO Jonathan Hill and Ciaran Medlar, advisor to the male and female international players, alongside captains Katie McCabe and Seamus Coleman.
Over four years ago, the women's national team held a remarkable press conference accusing the FAI of treating them as 'fifth class citizens' and describing how they had to change out of tracksuits in airport toilets. The calls for equality have been building ever since.
Welcoming the news, women's captain Katie McCabe said it was "a huge step forward", thanking both the previous generation of Irish women's players and the current Irish men's team for their support of the move.
"This is a great day for Irish football. We have taken a huge step forward with this deal and have shown the world what can be achieved through unity as we offer male and female international players the same opportunities.
"I am very proud as Ireland captain of the work that has been put in to get us to this point, not just by the current team but by so many Irish players in the past. They are the real heroes in this story, they took a stand and they passed on the baton to the current generation.
"Seamus Coleman and his team-mates in the senior men's squad also deserve credit for being brave enough to support us in such a progressive way on this issue. It is really appreciated."
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Men's captain Seamus Coleman also welcomed the news.
"On behalf of the senior men's squad, I welcome this news today.
"We are delighted as players to do what we can to ensure that our female international players are treated equally and fairly and we remain fully committed to doing whatever we can to achieve that goal together.
"This deal is the right one for everyone who plays international football for Ireland, no matter which team they represent. We have been working towards this agreement for some time now with Katie, Jonathan and Ciaran and I hope this acts as an inspiration to many other nations to follow suit."
FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill added that the decision was an "important milestone".
"This is another important milestone in the FAI's own transformation journey and I believe this equal pay programme shows us to be the progressive footballing nation we have always aspired to be.
"It is also another step forward in our key strategic goal to grow the women’s game in Ireland in a sustainable and systematic way. For some months now, I have been working with Katie, Seamus and Ciaran on this agreement.
"Katie and her team-mates are role models to all the young girls playing football in Ireland whilst the actions of Seamus and his fellow players in our senior men’s squad to make this equal pay proposition possible should not be underestimated."
The move was also hailed by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who tweeted "Welcome move by @FAIreland today to bring in equal match fees for our senior men's and women’s international teams. Anyone who wears the green jersey is an inspiration and role model to all – positive to see such progress."
Welcome move by @FAIreland today to bring in equal match fees for our senior men's and women’s international teams.— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) August 30, 2021
Anyone who wears the green jersey is an inspiration and role model to all – positive to see such progress. https://t.co/f9WNqLJYzh
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