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South Africa’s Football Female Team Settle Pay Dispute

A foundation set up by African soccer president and billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe stepped in Wednesday to resolve a pay dispute between South Africa’s Women’s World Cup players and their national association, ensuring they will get on a plane and head to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand. The dispute caused the entire squad to sit out a game on Sunday and was an embarrassment to the South African soccer association and a country bidding to host the next Women’s World Cup in 2027. It was also another indication of the long-standing issue of pay disparity between men’s and women’s soccer. South African soccer association president Danny Jordaan, whose organization came under stinging criticism over the last few days for not looking after its women players, conceded there was still “a massive gap” globally when it came to pay for men and women players despite world body FIFA’s efforts. To end the South African problem, the Motsepe Foundation gave $320,000 to be shared between the 23 players going to the Women’s World Cup, officials announced at a press conference in Johannesburg. They said that had ended the standoff and would allow the players to travel in two groups later Wednesday and on Thursday to New Zealand ahead of the World Cup. The players are also due to earn an additional $30,000 each in appearance money from FIFA.