Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport Chris Andrews has called on the FAI to initiate a campaign with FIFA to bring signing rules for women up to the same level and standard as those for men signing from amateur to professional teams.
The TD for Dublin Bay South said:
“We have been seen in recent times growing support for woman in football, with the number of football associations treating men and woman as equals in terms of pay and conditions slowly increasing.
“Last year I called on the FAI to follow the lead of Football Associations such as the Brazilian and English FA’s and put Ireland to the fore in Europe for equality for women in sport, sadly this call fell on deaf ears.
“Aside from pay and conditions of players, there are other ways in which our women league are deprived of equal treatment, such as the zero level of training compensation for women signing for professional teams from amateur clubs.
“With large and wealthy clubs now fielding female teams, which is a welcome development, this means they can have their pick of the best players for free.
“This widens the divide between the haves and the have nots within football. UEFA has failed to bring their rules into line with those for male signings.
“When a player is signing from amateur to professional terms in the men’s game, they’re not entitled to a transfer fee. But they do get UEFA mandated compensation for training the player, which can serve as a vital resource for the development of amateur clubs.
“As we are a strong nation in women’s football, but lack a fully professional league here, we cannot afford to have bigger nations cherry-pick our players.
“Today I have written to the FAI requesting that they initiate a campaign to FIFA to bring signing rules for women up to the same level and standard as those for men signing from amateur to professional.”