Matildas find allies in pay deal fight


The Matildas are winning friends in their bid for a higher wage, with superstar Australian basketballer Lauren Jackson backing their boycott of their tour of the United States.

On the same day the Matildas were due to fly for two cancelled friendly matches against the world champion, they gathered cross-code support for their controversial action.

Jackson, widely considered the greatest Australian female basketballer of all time, said the Matildas were flag-bearers for women looking to be taken seriously in sport.

"There's a huge sacrifice for women in sport. When you are performing on the world stage and you are the best in the world, you should be treated that way," Jackson said on Friday.

"They're potentially going to be World Cup champions at some point and they should be supported and treated that way."

The Matildas became the first Australian side to win a knockout match at a World Cup in June, reaching the quarter-finals.

Jackson is the latest in a long line of past and present Matildas, A-League players and prominent sportswomen to back the Matildas' actions.

US goalkeeper Hope Solo, who would have been in goal against the Matildas during their tour, took to social media to back the boycott.

An online petition has gathered more than 29,000 signatures in favour of doubling the Matildas' base salary to $43,000.

Matildas defender Laura Alleway said the support from Jackson and others encouraged her.

"We've been really blessed with the amount of support we're getting from the public, from (players' union) PFA and other women in sport," she said.

"Hopefully, this drives something.

"We need to have a full-time program and funded that way as well."

Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna broke ranks on Wednesday, saying she was willing to play against the United States despite the impasse.

But Alleway dismissed the notion that the squad was divided, or they had jeopardised their chances of qualifying for next year's Olympic Games.

"There hasn't been a difference of opinion - every one of us wants to play," she said.

"Hopefully, we can get something resolved quickly because we know we've got more camps coming up soon."

Source AAP