Scotland’s women’s national football team are taking legal action against the Scottish FA in a fight for equal pay and conditions after talks broke down.
The team, led by captain Rachel Corsie, is ready to take her case to an employment tribunal.
The female players believe there are disparities between their treatment and that of their male counterparts.
In response, the SFA said “equality should be central to the development of the game at all levels”.
Speaking to BBC Scotland, Aston Villa defender Corsie said the players felt compelled to speak out after two years without reaching an agreement with the SFA.
“There are a significant number of instances where players feel the resources in place are not where they should be. It’s really important to make sure that doesn’t continue,” the captain said. 33 Years.
“We want there to be change going forward.”
Earlier, in a statement released on behalf of the players, Corsie said: “It’s about treating all professional footballers the same.
“After years of inequity, disrespect and, in some cases, abuse, we have a historic opportunity to advance equal pay and promote equality for women and girls in football.
“This campaign is about parity, and we will seek to engage with the Scottish Football Association, fans and all members of the Scottish football community to bring about this long overdue change.”
The move comes after a landmark case the US Women’s National Team won earlier this year where they secured a payout of over £17million.
The Scottish women’s national team want the SFA to match the actions of the Football Association of Ireland, which pays the same appearance fee for its male and female players.
The SFA issued a press release Friday afternoon in response to the Women’s National Team decision.
It read: “No national team player, male or female, is paid to play for his country or receives an ‘attendance fee’.
“International representation is and should always be considered a privilege and not a job. Our men’s and women’s teams receive a per diem for their time with the national team, which has been exactly the same since 2017.”
He goes on to say that both groups of players “have an incentive to qualify for major tournaments, from which teams receive the same percentage of prize money from the tournament organizer” and that players from both teams are paid the same for “appearances involving sponsors of designated official national teams”.
Corsie first represented the full Scotland squad in March 2009 and amassed 137 caps.
In April, she and other members of her squad criticized the SFA on Twitter for its ticketing arrangements at Hampden, saying only part of the national stadium would be open to visiting Spain in a qualifying game for the World Cup.
The SFA said it was “extremely disappointed with the release” and said: “The ticket sales process used at Hampden Park is the same as most Scottish football, with tickets sold in blocks, in line with continued demand. “
The incident, which Corsie said sparked greater frustration with the way Scottish women’s football was organised, led to talks between Corsie and Ian Maxwell, the SFA’s chief executive.
Scotland teammates Caroline Weir and Erin Cuthbert are two other top players seeking what they see as a fairer share of funding from commercial deals.
“For so many years we have felt an afterthought, and although we have seen growth, it is the result of our own change,” said Real Madrid’s Weir, capped 93 times by Scotland.
“Sponsorship deal payments go overwhelmingly to men’s football and male players. In our current society, this is an example of the outdated prejudices towards a group of players.
“If shared equally, there would be a dramatic increase in funding for women’s and women’s football at all levels, which would be transformative.”
Chelsea’s Cuthbert added: “This campaign must be the start of an irreversible turning point to forever change our national game and the way players are treated.
“It’s about advancing and achieving equality in Scottish football.”
Fraser Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland, told BBC Scotland that his organization had been negotiating on behalf of the women’s national team since 2017 and that, although no contract was currently in place, things were working “fairly at the moment”. friendly”.
However, Wishart said the players feel they are at an impasse with the SFA, in part because they do not have full disclosure of the men’s deals and therefore cannot guarantee parity for the women.
He said the argument boiled down to this: “Should female players playing for the Scottish national team get the same as male players playing for the Scottish national team in court.”
“A fight for respect”
Chris McLaughlin, BBC Scotland sports news correspondent
It’s been a row that’s been brewing for some time, but this decision gives an indication of how the talks went and how strong the feelings of those involved are.
The Women’s National Team has come a long way over the past decade, both in terms of results and profile. Given what has happened in other countries, and in the United States in particular, this group now feels that the time is right to make their point and stand up for what they believe in – the anger and the frustration of senior players are clear.
The Scottish FA have made progress towards equality in recent years, however. Combined commercial agreements have been signed, more resources have been devoted to overseas training camps and the national stadium now hosts the women’s team and not just the men’s.
The headlines for the next court will be about equal pay, but for a group that sees themselves as female role models, it’s a fight for respect.