One of the players who spearheaded the fight for women’s professional football in Argentina has signed the first contract of its type, alongside fellow incoming players at the iconic San Lorenzo de Almagro Club in the capital.
Macarena Sánchez Jeanney joined the Boedo club two Saturdays ago with a full-fledged professional contract, after an agreement was secured between clubs and the Argentine Football Association (AFA). The signing took place at 3pm at the Nuevo Gasómetro facilities where ´Maca’ was unveiled as the club's new star forward.
“Fight and keep going,” she wrote on Twitter prior to the signing session.
Sánchez Jeanney was subject to public criticism earlier this year, including death threats and the hacking of her social media accounts.
´Maca’ and fellow female players began raising their voices in January for the creation of a women’s league in Argentina.
She even sued her former club, UAI Urquiza, and the AFA to be recognized as a club employee. Sánchez’s squads won four 1st division titles and competed for three Libertadores cups.
In March, AFA president Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia signed an agreement with the Argentine Unionized Women Football Players (FAA) comprising eight contracts in each of the 16 clubs that form part of the First Division.
San Lorenzo on Saturday became the first to sign women players up.
AFA will set aside 120,000 pesos per month for each club for one year to support the payment of professional players’ wages.
Clubs have 60 days to sign women players, according to the agreement signed in the AFA’s Ezeiza facilities in March.
The existing women’s league is composed of Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Racing Club, Independiente, Huracán, UAI Urquiza, UBA Fútbol, Lanús, Platense, Villa San Carlos, Estudiantes de La Plata, Excursionistas, El Porvenir, Deportivo Morón and Atlanta.
Star women players could not expect to receive more than AR$ 5,000 prior to the new professional model.
The national women’s squad gained attention in 2019 when it qualified for the World Cup in France after a 12-year absence from the international tournament.
In September 2017, players wrote to AFA to announce they would strike until it resolved “structural problems.” They had three basic demands: the payment of transport costs, training on grass facilities, and rest at hotels during away games.
The last demand had backstory: the squad had recently slept in their bus prior to a friendly against Uruguay in the Uruguay capital, Montevideo.