Saturday 19 October 2019

Frank de Boer clarifies ‘ridiculous’ comments on pay for women footballers

The Dutch women’s World Cup squad. Photo: KNVB Media

Dutch football coach and former international Frank de Boer has back-tracked on comments he made about pay for female players following a backlash in the Netherlands and in the US, where he is now based.

De Boer, who has just won the Campeones Cup with Atlanta United, told the Guardian in an interview he felt that paying men and women internationals the same, as the Dutch FA has pledged to do, is ‘ridiculous’.

The Dutch women will receive annual pay rises up to 2023, when their earnings for national team service will equal to the men, while the US women’s team – which beat Oranje to take the World Cup – is also involved in a pay dispute.

‘I think for me, it’s ridiculous,’ De Boer told the paper. ‘It’s the same like tennis. If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women’s final, that’s a difference. So it’s not the same. And of course they have to be paid what they deserve to [earn] and not less, just what they really deserve.’

Following widespread criticism, De Boer later issued a statement on Twitter clarifying his position.

‘I wholly respect and support the women’s game and I am encouraged and excited by its growth, both internationally and in the US,’ he said. As its popularity increases… it will lead to increased revenue and higher salaries which is fantastic, and what we all want to see.’

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