Argentina announces professionalization of women's soccer

Accompanied by soccer players, Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, bottom center, and General Secretary of the Argentina's Foot

Accompanied by soccer players, Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, bottom center, and General Secretary of the Argentina's Foot

General Secretary of the Argentina's Footballers' Union (FAA) Sergio Marchi holds up the contract to implement a plan to professionalize women's socce

General Secretary of the Argentina's Footballers' Union (FAA) Sergio Marchi holds up the contract to implement a plan to professionalize women's socce

General Secretary of the Argentina's Footballers' Union (FAA) Sergio Marchi, right, Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, left, s

General Secretary of the Argentina's Footballers' Union (FAA) Sergio Marchi, right, Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, left, s

Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, greets a soccer player during a press conference to announce the early implementation of a

Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, greets a soccer player during a press conference to announce the early implementation of a

Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, left, and General Secretary of the Argentina's Footballers' Union (FAA) Sergio Marchi, take

Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, left, and General Secretary of the Argentina's Footballers' Union (FAA) Sergio Marchi, take

Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, smiles as he poses for pictures during a press conference to announce the early implementat

Claudio Tapia, president of Argentina's Soccer Federation, smiles as he poses for pictures during a press conference to announce the early implementat

Female referees attend a press conference to announce the early implementation of a plan to professionalize women's soccer in Buenos Aires, Argentina,

Female referees attend a press conference to announce the early implementation of a plan to professionalize women's soccer in Buenos Aires, Argentina,

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's soccer association has announced that the national women's league will now be granted professional status.

The association said Saturday that each of the 16 clubs of the women's top division must have at least eight professional contracts with female players. It also said the contracts must mirror those of the professional men's league.

AFA President Claudio Tapia said: "When we assumed responsibility we said we were going to oversee inclusive soccer that is gender equal, and we are demonstrating that."

Tapia said that the association will contribute 120,000 pesos (about $3,000) per month to each club to finance the contracts.

Up until now, the women's game has been played by amateur athletes who have gotten little to no money for their work on the field.