USA-Australia women's matches 'looking very unlikely'

A dispute between Professional Footballers Australia and Football Federation Australia reached the boiling point as members of the Australian women's national team, quarterfinalist at the 2015 Women's World Cup, went on strike three days before the Matildas were set to leave for the USA to face the U.S. world champions Sept. 17 in Detroit and Sept. 20 in Birmingham, Alabama, as part of a 10-match Victory Tour.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop told AAP on Wednesday that the matches "were looking very unlikely" after labor talks broke down. He said the FFA wanted to invest more in the women's national team "but unannounced, fresh demands yesterday is no way to go about it."

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams blamed the stalemate on the FFA for not understanding what the Matildas had given to soccer in Australia.

"For the past two months, the players have been unpaid and have made every attempt to reach an agreement that gives the women's game a platform for growth, Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald. "This is about the future of Australian football. We want to establish football as the sport of choice for Australian women, and we want to be one of the best nations in the world."

The dispute also involves the Socceroos -- the men's national team -- and players in the A-League, Australia's men's pro league. The Socceroos did not take part in sponsorship events during their recent stay in Perth ahead of the World Cup 2018 qualifier against Bangladesh.
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