Centurion Áine O’Gorman’s ‘priority’ is Euro qualification
The Republic of Ireland women’s squad will park any talk of pursuing equal pay with their male counterparts until after next Friday’s crunch Euro qualifier in Ukraine.
Centurion Áine O’Gorman has been to the fore in parity campaigns, such as their successful strike threat in 2017 to attain basic conditions, and she’s monitoring moves by other associations to align appearance fees.
Brazil, Norway, England and New Zealand have all adopted the policy of equal pay in the same year World champions USA lost a court battle over gender discrimination.
Government ministers are now applying pressure on the FAI to increase the €500 appearance fee paid to the females in line with the €2,500 received by Stephen Kenny’s players in the men’s squad. Ireland full-back Matt Doherty last week publicly supported the notion of rectifying the disparity.
Peamount United defender O’Gorman, who represents her peers on the committee of the Players Football Association of Ireland (PFAI) said: “It’s great to see what’s happening in the associations throughout the world. To be honest, it’s not on our radar right now as we’ve to focus on beating on Ukraine to qualify for a major tournament.
“That would be the first massive step in that direction and I think the rest will follow. Our priority is to become the first-ever Ireland team to reach a major tournament. We can then look at other issues as I’d be passionate about boosting standards in the women’s national league.”
A draw in Kiev would guarantee Ireland second place behind Germany in their group. The Girls in Green could even afford to lose 1-0 or 2-1 defeat – based on last year’s 3-2 victory over Ukraine at Tallaght – to keep in front as per the primary head-to-head criteria. That will at least clinch a play-off shot at reaching Euro 2022 in England. O’Gorman is hoping her squad avoids the problems which beset Kenny’s men’s squad last week.
“It does give us comfort that player welfare was strongly considered by Vera and the medical staff in planning this camp,” she noted.