Having just gone through their own protracted labor dispute with US Soccer, the US women’s national team is now expressing their solidarity with the Denmark WNT as they fight their own federation in a pay dispute.
Here’s the problem: for the better part of a year, the Danish women’s team have been arguing with the DBU over no longer being classified as employees of the federation and asking for better wages. Katja Kragelund at Women’s Soccer Zone had a very good thorough rundown of the issues at play. The players have previously received about £300 for being selected for major tournaments like the World Cup and Euros, with more if they qualify for these tournaments. They were not paid for home friendlies, nor given per diems for food afterwards. There’s a lot of other issues here too, like insurance and better training conditions, which you’d expect as the team wants an overall higher standard of treatment from their federation. It’s all been back and forth for quite a while, eventually culminating in an actual strike that saw the team sit out a World Cup qualifier against Hungary on September 15. The Denmark MNT, probably remembering their own dispute with the federation, even offered money from their agreement to go to the WNT.
As of today, the team appears to have reached an agreement with the DBU, at least one that will allow them to play the qualifier against Hungary.
USWNT members tweeted out the following statement in support of the Denmark WNT.
It was retweeted by other WNT players, including Meghan Klingenberg, who along with Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, and Allie Long count Denmark forward Nadia Nadim as their teammate in Portland.
It’s nice to see women’s teams around the world start to ask for more from their federations after so long with the bare minimum. Considering Denmark’s recent run to the finals in the 2017 Euros, it’s disheartening to see how hard they have to fight for increased support. The Ireland and Scotland WNTs have also been in recent disputes with their respective federations over support for the players. More support allows players to train full time as well as hopefully identify and train new talent, which increases the international standard for women’s soccer, which feeds back into the cycle to bring more support. More competition means a healthier international game, and that’s good for the United States too.