Sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has taken another massive step forward in his effort to ensure equality in distribution of allowances and bonuses to players in both male and female cadres of the country’s national teams.
Dalung showed how serious he is in his bid to bridge the welfare gap between men and women national teams when he visited the female under-20 squad, Falconets at their training camp in Tirol, Austria.
During his visit, Dalung was impressed to see the Falconets beat an Austrian women’s club, Wacker Innsbruck 4-0, and congratulated the team for their victory.
Apart from verbally praising the players and their coaches, Dalung gave the lasses $5,000 and handed $2,000 to the technical crew.
He wished those injured among the players speedy recovery, and prayed that the squad should have a successful outing at the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France, where they will play in Group D alongside defending champs, Germany, Haiti and China.
The minister said he was sad to hear that, after winning six qualifying matches, the team were yet to receive their match bonuses and camp allowances.
He frowned at the treatment being meted out to female players, which he said is unfair, and promised to ensure the players get all their entitlements when he gets back to work.
Dalung said: “My passion for women’s football is high and I don’t like the idea of treating people differently. I don’t like injustice and it doesn’t look fair for them to be in camp without their entitlements.
“These are young players and if you don’t give them the morale support they need now, when will you do that?
“We must develop and invest in women’s football the same way we develop and invest in men’s football. That gap must be bridged.
“I want to assure you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that your welfare and that of the coaching crew is taken care of because I want to see all these goals re-enacted in France.
“We will go back and work out your entitlements to ensure that the girls are comfortable in France.”