Forced to change in toilets, players go on strike

Changing in airport toilets before matches, sharing tracksuits with the squad, women players from Republic of Irelenad have done them all...

Tired of their complaints going to deaf ears at the Football Association of Ireland, 13 players held a press conference and went public with their grievances. (Picture for representation)   -  AFP

It is not easy being a woman footballer and definitely not in the Republic of Ireland.

Changing in airport toilets before matches, sharing tracksuits with the squad, the players have done them all.

Tired of their complaints going to deaf ears at the Football Association of Ireland, 13 players held a press conference recently to express their grievances. They also threatened to go on strike and not attend training for next week’s game against Slovakia.

The players attended the press conference along with Professional Footballers’ Association Of Ireland solicitor Stuart Gilhooly. Forward Aine O’Gorman alleged that they have been forced to find alternative changing facilities before matches while the captain, Emma Byrne – who has 127 caps – said the team had “given up” trying to deal directly with the FAI, Guardian reported.

“We have been getting changed in public toilets on the way to matches,” O’Gorman said.

According to the Guardian, among the players’ demands were match fees of €300, bonuses of €150 for a win and €75 for a draw, gym membership for the squad and the provision of team clothing.

The threat seemed to have worked. On Thursday, FAI said that it had held talks and the problems were resolved. The players, it said, agreed to resume training.

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