Scotland women’s national team are taking legal action in a fight with the Scottish Football Association over pay and to “ensure equality” with the male national side.
The squad have been in dispute with the Scottish FA hierarchy for some time and players are now taking their fight to an employment tribunal.
“This is about all professional footballers being treated equally,” Scotland captain Rachel Corsie has said.
“After years of iniquity, disrespect, and in some cases abuse, we have a historic opportunity to advance equal pay and to promote equality for women and girls in football.
“This campaign is about parity, and we’ll be seeking to engage with the Scottish Football Association, the fans, and everyone in Scotland’s football community to deliver this long overdue change.”
While players aren’t specifically paid to play for their country as salaried employees, funds are paid into a ‘player appearance pot’ and shared from there.
The legal challenge aims to ensure that there is a fairer share from sponsorship and commercial deals put in to the women’s teams.
Senior players Caroline Weir and Erin Cuthbert also spoke out about the current arrangements and the need for lasting change.
“For so many years we’ve felt an after-thought, and whilst we have seen growth it’s come as a result of driving our own change,” said Real Madrid player Weir.
“Payments from sponsorship deals overwhelmingly go to the men’s game, and to male players.
“In our current society, this is one example of the outdated prejudice towards one group of players.
“The National team should be one unified organisation that backs both the SMNT and SWNT.
“It should be an elite and high-performing environment that ensures both teams can build success.
“If shared out equally, there would be a dramatic increase in funding for women’s and girls’ football at all levels that would be transformative.”
Chelsea attacker Cuthbert said: “This campaign must be the start of an irreversible turning point to forever change our national game, and the way women players are treated.
“It’s about advancing and achieving equality in Scottish football.”
The dispute is not the first between the governing body and the women’s team. In April, members of the squad tweeted near-identical comments, asking why only limited ticketing was available for their international match at Hampden against Spain.
The Scottish FA said that the process had been misunderstood, with more seats being made available if necessary.
The organisation also defended its record promoting women’s football, saying more money would be spent to attract fans to the Spain match than on any Scotland Women’s game so far. And Hampden bosses went further, saying that staff working on the game had been hurt by the accusations they were not doing their best, and suggesting that the players did not have to make their grievance public.
The current dispute and legal move comes after the USA women’s team won a legal battle to secure equal pay with their male counterparts. The US Soccer Federation was ordered to pay out £17m after the judgement went against them.
The Scottish FA have been contacted for comment.