A US tour by the “Matildas”, Australia’s national women’s team, has been called off, the FFA announced Thursday, blaming the players’ union in an acrimonious pay dispute.

Football Federation Australia said in a statement that “the Matildas interests have been taken hostage by the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA)”.

The Matildas were due to play two matches against the world champions on September 17 and 20 in Detroit and Birmingham.

“Sadly, the Matildas will not be playing the USA because FFA and the A-League clubs can’t meet the PFA’s unaffordable demands in relation to the level of the salary cap for A-League players,” FFA chief executive David Gallop told a press conference.

The federation said the union, which represents men and women players, had rejected a new offer Thursday “that would have seen the Matildas undertake the US tour and receive an immediate payment under an interim agreement with increased pay rates”.

“In addition, the PFA informed FFA that even if a long-term Matildas agreement was reached today, the players would not go to the USA unless a Aus$30 million (US$21.2 million) four-year CBA (collective bargaining agreement) covering the Socceroos and A-League was also agreed today,” the federation said.

Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, covering Socceroos, Matildas and A-League players were expected to continue later this month.

The Socceroos boycotted a commercial event last week while the Matildas withdrew from a training camp on Tuesday as the PFA stuck by long-standing demands for improved wages and conditions ahead of the new A-League season opening on October 8. – Agence France-Presse

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