FA face gender pay gap questions; calls for more drug testing in WSL and Infantino criticised after Iranian women arrests

WSL1 News

The latest news from women’s football in the UK and around the rest of the world over the last week.

Women who are employed by the FA were paid 23.2% less than men last year, according to figures released by British football’s main governing body. The figures were released following the new law that companies with a workforce of more than 250 employees, must reveal their gender pay gap to the public.

The FA report states that the figures were skewed because of a small number of male senior employees, such as England men’s manager Gareth Southgate. The report also alludes to the fact that the FA’s median hourly pay gap of 12.1 percent, is lower than the national average of 18.4 percent.

The governing body talked of the “great work that is going on across the country to increase female participation at all levels in the game” and expressed their hope that over time this will create a pathway for more talented women to work in managing and governing the game as well as playing it.

Elsewhere, former England international Sue Smith has called for more drug testing to be conducted in the new full-time Women’s Super League next season. There were just 47 samples taken from players in the top division between 28th June 2016 and 3rd June 2017, whereas 1,171 samples were taken from 524 players in the men’s Premier League.

The FA has confirmed that tests in WSL 1 and WSL 2 will increase for the current season, but did not speculate on any plans for the next campaign. They stated that it would “not be appropriate” to do so as it could put the “integrity and success of the programme at risk”.

However, UK Anti-Doping director of operations Pat Myhill told BBC Sport: “With the increase in funding from the FA and, as women’s football continues to grow and professionalise, there is a commitment to ensure testing increases proportionally. Testing in the WSL has increased by around 50% in the last year alone.”

On the pitch, England Ladies are just one point away from winning the SheBelieves Cup, following a 4-1 thumping of France on Thursday and a 2-2 draw with Germany last night.

Phil Neville’s Lionesses twice came from behind to salvage a point against the German’s, with Ellen White netting both goals. The draw leaves England top of the group on goal difference after the USA and France drew 1-1, with Neville’s side now just needing a point against the USA to lift the trophy.

Six British players have been named on the shortlist for the 2017 Women’s World XI, following a players’ poll conducted by FIFPro.

Of those six named on the shortlist, five of them were England’s Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Karen Carney, Steph Houghton and Jodie Taylor, while Scotland’s Caroline Weir was also selected on the list of 55 players. The results will be released on March 8th, which is also International Women’s Day.

In a shocking set of circumstances, there were 35 women arrested at a ‘men-only’ Iranian football match on Thursday, where FIFA President Gianni Infantino was present. Women are not permitted to attend matches in Iran, which led to some of the women that were arrested, dressing as men in order to watch the game.

The women have since been released from police custody, but the FIFA President has come under severe criticism following his attendance at the match. Infantino confirmed that the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani assured FIFA that women will not be banned from attending football matches for much longer but did not present an exact timeframe.

The day after the incident, the FIFA President told delegates at the FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion, that it made sense to manage expectations and stated “We cannot solve all the problems of the world in FIFA. But we can always bring a smile.”

About the Author

James Murray
I am a second-year journalism student at London South Bank University. I am a huge football fan and love to analyse, write and talk about various aspects of the beautiful game.