Argentina announces professionalization of women’s soccer

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s soccer association has announced that the national women’s league will now be granted professional status.

The association said Saturday that each of the 16 clubs of the women’s top division must have at least eight professional contracts with female players. It also said the contracts must mirror those of the professional men’s league.

AFA President Claudio Tapia said: “When we assumed responsibility we said we were going to oversee inclusive soccer that is gender equal, and we are demonstrating that.”

Tapia said that the association will contribute 120,000 pesos (about $3,000) per month to each club to finance the contracts.

Up until now, the women’s game has been played by amateur athletes who have gotten little to no money for their work on the field.