• The Westfield Matilda's in training at the FIFA World Cup (AAP)Source: AAP
Australia's Football players union has welcomed the Federal Government's push for gender-neutral travel policies for athletes across all sports.
By
Zela

Source:
AAP
3 Feb 2016 - 2:45 PM  UPDATED 5 Feb 2016 - 5:02 PM

Professional Footballers Australia has welcomed "long overdue" government pressure on sporting bodies to adopt gender equality for athletes' travel by threatening funding.

Federal sports minister Sussan Ley and Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie have written to the top 30 funded organisations on the issue, saying there is no defensible reason why male and female athletes should be treated differently.

The letter said the ASC was aware of some sports with very large revenue bases that were the worst offenders, with future funds from the government's $134 million pool to be conditional on gender equality in travel and accommodation.

Travel upgrade the first step to equality for women in sport
Sporting codes will be required to implement gender neutral travel policies or risk losing millions of dollars in government funding, with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) warning it wants to see a better deal for the nation’s female athletes.

PFA's player relations executive Kathryn Gill, a current Matildas player who was at the centre of last year's industrial action against Football Federation Australia over equal pay, said it was "simply unacceptable" that Australia's elite female athletes had been denied the same conditions as male athletes for so long.

"These measures are long overdue and are an important step forward in addressing the issue of gender equality, which to date has not been tackled in a meaningful way by most sports," Gill said.

"The universal values of sport, which are so celebrated, have not been afforded to Australia's most talented sports women.

"Rather they have consistently been treated as second-class citizens rather than the world class athletes they are.

"The Matildas, through the PFA, have long campaigned for improved workplace conditions. The introduction of these measures will ensure that players are provided with a high performance workplace that is fundamental for even greater success on the world stage.

"Our female members through the recent collective bargaining negotiations showed their willingness to play a major role in promoting gender equality in Australian society and remain determined to the light the way forward."