Women’s soccer to be professional in Italy by 2022

ROME (AP) — The Italian Football Federation aims to make the women’s game professional in the country by 2022, describing the move as “undelayable.”

Female players are still considered amateurs by Italian law and therefore are not permitted to earn more than 30,000 euros ($33,000) per year before taxes.

Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora has previously said he supports changing the 1981 law and making the women’s league professional.

“President (Gabriel) Gravina proposed, and the council unanimously agreed, the launch of a gradual project aimed at recognizing professionalism, starting from the 2022-23 season,” the FIGC said in a statement after a meeting on Thursday.

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“This prospect … has now become undelayable on the theme of equal dignity.”

The FIGC said Spadafora was laying the groundwork to change the law.

The FIGC also decided to award the Women’s Serie A title to Juventus after canceling the rest of the league this month.

Juventus had a nine-point advantage over second-placed Fiorentina with six matches remaining, although Fiorentina had played a match less. It is Juve’s third successive league title.

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli thanked the federation.

“Our path of women’s football has shown on the field that we’re deserving of this title; the third in three years,” Agnelli said.

“The road to bringing women’s football in Italy to the level of the greats of Europe and the world is still very long. We will have to be able, all together, to build the right organizational and regulatory architecture to guarantee the next steps of growth.”

Fiorentina joins Juventus in next season’s Women’s Champions League after the FIGC used an algorithm to determine the final standings.

Tavagnacco and Orobica were relegated to Serie B and Napoli and San Marino were promoted to the top flight.

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