Men are getting paid up to four times more than female athletes, it emerged on Wednesday during a discussion of the House education committee promoting a law amendment to ensure gender equality in sport.
The proposal, tabled by Edek MP Andreas Apostolou in October, aims to amend article 5 of the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) legislation to ensure equal opportunities for male and female athletes in national teams, both in group and individual sports.
Thanking the competent officials and bodies for their cooperation, Apostolou said the proposal will be discussed next week as well, when KOA and the education ministry will provide their positions in writing.
He noted that the bill proposal will be submitted to the plenary session for voting in March.
There are “huge problems” that need to be solved regarding the financial benefits of football players on the island, said the chairman of the Cyprus football players association (Pasp) Spyros Neophytides.
Citing 2020 research carried out with the equality commissioner, he said “benefits for men are about four times higher than for women.”
As an example, he mentioned that two international footballers from Nicosia, a man and a woman, who are invited to a training session in Limassol, will receive as expenses €120 and €40 respectively.
“This is discriminatory,” he said.
Neophytides added that all members of the education committee are “positive that this amendment will go ahead”.
“We are all optimistic that by the end of March a huge goal of the Pasp will be achieved, a huge step will be taken in the field of sport on the issues of gender equality,” he added.
Another gender discrimination incident in sports occurred when basketball players of the girls’ national team were excluded from participation in FIBA youth international competitions, unlike their male counterparts.
Earlier in the day, gender equality commissioner Josie Christodoulou commented on the case, saying she had already had a meeting with parents and another will follow with the Cyprus Basketball Organisation.
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