Matildas go on strike before U.S. tour

The ongoing feud between Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and Football Federation Australia (FFA) escalated late on Tuesday with the announcement that the women's national team, the Matildas, had made the decision to withdraw from a scheduled training camp.

The Sydney training camp was to be the last ahead of Australia's upcoming tour of the United States -- a tour that has now been thrown into jeopardy.

The Matildas actions are just the latest in a series of skirmishes between the players union and Australia's governing body.

In August, talks between the PFA and the FFA broke down after the parties could not reach an accord on renewing the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, which in turn led to Socceroo players cancelling several public appearances ahead of their first match in Western Australia in more than a decade last week.

"This was an extremely difficult decision to make. However, it is simply unfair to continue to expect us to make enormous sacrifices to play for Australia," Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"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.

"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.

"FFA's stance indicates that they do not share these ambitions, nor do they understand and respect what we have given to the game. We are simply asking FFA do their bit so we can grow the game together.

"The players would like to thank the public for their longstanding support and encourage the Australian football community to back us in our fight to ensure the rights of female athletes are protected."

Football Federation Australia responded on Tuesday in a press release, claiming that the PFA had no intention of resolving the feud and that they were disappointed that the women's national team had become involved in the dispute.

"Today FFA entered the talks in good faith with the intention of finalising the CBA, based on assurances from the PFA's leadership that the parties were not far apart," FFA CEO David Gallop said.

"Instead, we were presented with a fresh set of demands that amount to millions of dollars of unfunded commitments.

"It's sad that the Matildas have been dragged into a dispute that's primarily about the A-League. The offer to the Matildas would basically double their pay over the next four years.

"Since talks began seven months ago, FFA and A-League club representatives have opened the books to show the PFA exactly what the game can afford and what is possible with an improved TV deal in 2017.

"The new demands are simply not affordable and the PFA knows it. The deal put on the table by FFA represents the best pay and conditions ever presented to Australian footballers, with a guarantee of 30% of uplift in new TV revenue going straight to the salary cap.

"FFA will continue to pursue an agreement that's sensible and protects the interests of the game, it's time to reach agreement and stop the game-playing."

Tuesday's developments come exactly one month out from the opening fixture of the 2015-16 A-League season.