When the new range of Matildas jerseys were unveiled this week, there was an understandable level of fanfare for arguably Australian sport's most treasured female sporting team.
That initial excitement soon turned to despair and outrage when an inexplicable snub of female consumers was revealed.
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The latest Nike-designed Australian national team jerseys were released in women's and men's sizes for the home kit, but only men's sizes for the green away kit.
It was later revealed that women's away kits would only be available to purchase in 2022, causing understandable backlash.
Matildas supporters were left fuming that a large portion of the Aussie team's fan base had been excluded, particularly given the football side's standing in women's sport.
The FFA has now responded to the outrage over the embarrassing debacle by acknowledging the mistake and revealing that women's away kits would become available in early 2021.
“FFA, together with Nike, have listened to fans and consumers and as a result the away kit will be available for purchase early in the new year,” an FFA release said.
“Women’s football and gender equality is a fundamental strategic pillar for FFA. Principle X of the XI Principles for the future of Australian football demonstrates our renewed commitment to women’s football and places it at the heart of the continued growth and development of Australian football.
“The initial unavailability of 2020 national teams away kits in a women’s silhouette was not consistent with the values in which FFA seeks to uphold and promote. FFA acknowledges this, and will place added emphasis on ensuring that future processes are aligned with the organisation’s broader vision and mission for the sport.”
Football community in uproar over jersey ‘disgrace’
Matildas star Elise Kellond-Knight called the initial snub "a fairly significant problem" and was just one of many outraged members of the Australian football community.
It's a disgrace that the women's teams jersey is not available in women's sizes & shapes.— CHRIS W (@Chris_interests) September 21, 2020
If it wasn't available in men's sizes that would be an embrarrassment!
How on earth was this allowed to happen? And are Nike really unable to manufacture replica kits? I’m assuming they have one or two templates for female football tops?!— Simon McMahon (@simonjmcmahon) September 18, 2020
I am speechless that this could happen in 2020! Women supporting women athletes - how does a decision like this even get made!— Lyndal vH (@VhLyndal) September 18, 2020
What excuse could there possibly be, to have no women's size away kits, and none till 2022?— Iain Byrne (@IainByrne23) September 18, 2020
This just shows how much attention to detail @FFA DON’T PAY!!— Nigel (@15_Nigel) September 18, 2020
Completely embarrassing, on the world stage!!
Yep significant indeed. The mind boggles 😳🤷♀️🤦♀️— Libby (@libbymcd66) September 18, 2020
Come on #Nike #Matildas?!? How did this happen in 2020? There are women who enjoy supporting other women play sport. All your advertising of the away jersey is of a female wearing it, yet you aren’t supplying a women’s cut 🤦♀️ pic.twitter.com/uBvbhjuHUS— Lyndal vH (@VhLyndal) September 18, 2020
Australia and New Zealand are co-hosting the next Women's World Cup tournament in 2023.
In 2019, the Matildas struck a landmark deal with the FFA which means the Socceroos and Matildas players are on the same pay scale.
Under the deal, both sides receive the same cut of commercial revenue - such as advertising.
However, the men are likely to keep earning more due to the greater prize money on offer during their FIFA World Cup matches.
The Matildas and Socceroos also now receive identical training conditions and other entitlements, such as business air travel, which had previously only been afforded to the lower-ranked men's team.