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Wales women’s national soccer team reaches equal pay deal

Jess Fishlock of Wales celebrates after scoring in an UEFA Women's World Cup qualifying match. (Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Wales women’s national team players will be paid the same as their male counterparts for the first time after the Football Association of Wales agreed to an equal pay deal, the association announced Tuesday.

The new contract will go into effect immediately and runs through the 2027 World Cup.

“Together Stronger has been the mantra across the Cymru national teams for us all, both on and off the pitch as we look to put Wales on the world stage,” the men’s and women’s national teams said in a joint statement.

“As part of the FAW’s strive towards equality, we are now proud to announce that together, our men’s and women’s teams have agreed to an equal pay structure for future international matches. We hope that this will allow future generations of boys and girls to see that there is equality across Welsh international football, which is important for society as a whole.”

Wales coach Gemma Grainger, who recently signed a contract that will keep her with the women’s national team through 2027, told BBC Sport Wales that the equal pay deal sends a powerful message.

“We want our players to embody Together Stronger, the collaboration with the men’s team is something we want to continue,” she told BBC Sport Wales. “Hopefully that collaboration will continue to grow. Equality and making sure what we have here is equal is so important to us. The women’s game is growing and will continue to grow.”

Wales are not the first to join the growing equal pay movement. The USWNT signed a landmark equal pay deal in May, and England, Brazil, Australia, Norway and New Zealand all have signed their own equal pay deals for international matches.

The Scotland women’s national team is taking legal action against the Scottish FA after its own equal pay talks fizzled out.