The Norwegian men’s national football team has taken a pay cut to bring their wages in line with the women’s team.
The Football Association of Norway announced the new financial plan, which is set to be launched at the start of 2018.
It will see both teams each earning a collective 6 million kroner (£573,635) — meaning the pay for the women’s team will almost double from the 3.1 million kroner (£296,845) they currently earn.
That’s despite the fact the women’s team consistently achieve better results on the international stage.
The men’s team currently earns a collective 6.55 million kroner. The 550,000 kroner they will be giving to the women’s team is money the men receive for commercial activities.
National team winder Carlone Graham Hansen published a post on Instagram to thank her male counterparts.
“This was maybe a small thing for you to do for us, this will maybe not show in your monthly wages, this was maybe an obvious move for you to do. But this means everything for us, for our team, our sport, and for all the female athletes out there, who do the same work, the same sport as men do, but get paid less,” she wrote in the post.
“For you to say that equal pay is how it should be, makes me want to cry,” she added. “It makes me want to hug you all. Thank your making this step for female athletes. For showing equality and for helping us all, making it a bit easier, to chase our dreams. To make them come true! Respect. #equalgame #equalpay.”
This was maybe a small thing for you to do for us. This will maybe not show in your monthly wages. This was maybe an obvious move for you to do! This though means everything for us! For our team! For our sport! But not at least for all the female athletes out there, who does the same work, same sport as men's do, but get paid less! For you to say that equal pay is how it should be, makes me wanna cry! Makes me Wanne hug you all! Thank you for making this step for female athletes. For showing equality and for helping us all, making it a bit easier, to chase our dreams. To make them come true! RESPECT #equalgame #equalpay
The leader of the Norwegian Players’ Association (NISO), Joachim Walltin said it will make a big difference for sport in the country.
“Norway is a country where equal standing is very important for us, so it is good for the country and for the sport,” he told broadcaster NRK. “For the girls, it will certainly make a difference. Some of them are working and studying, as well as playing football, and it’s hard to improve then.”
Walltin added: “The feeling of being really respected is very important for them. The federation can see it as an investment to increase the level of the women’s team.”
Meanwhile, Denmark’s men’s team has also offered the women’s side £60,000 a year to help cover their costs, after Denmark cancelled a home women’s friendly against the Netherlands in September because of a dispute over money with the Danish Football Association (DBU).
But Walltin believes Norway is the first country to make a deal of this kind in world football.
“In Denmark they are still negotiating and in the United States things have improved, but we might be the only country where they are treated equally,” he said.Embed from Getty Images
Men’s defender Tore Reginiussen added: “It’s nice to be able to contribute. There is nothing about the results we have had in recent years which indicates that we should have so much more. Now it will be a more even distribution. It is important.”
It’s a big step for female athletes in Norway, which is already one of the most gender-equal countries in the world.
Norway was ranked third out of 144 countries in the World Economics Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, which examines regulations relating to women’s education and work in countries around the world.