Finnish FA drops 'women's' prefix for league in push for equality

Marcus Christenson

The top division of women’s football in Finland has announced that it will change its name from Women’s League to National League (Kansallinen Liiga) in the latest move to implement “full equality” in running the country’s football.

The Finnish FA last year become one of only a few organisations in world football who have equal pay for their men’s and women’s national teams, and on Thursday it revealed the latest step in its three-year plan.

Related: Historic pay deal for Spain's top-flight female footballers

“Last summer’s Women’s World Cup proved that people do not base their interest in football on the gender of the players,” said Ari Lahti, president of the Finnish FA. “People come to the games to see top athletes play quality football. That is why women’s football should be treated equally with men’s football.”

He added: “Reaching full equality in sports still demands a lot of hard work. Our sincere wish is that other leagues both in Finland and globally will follow our lead. We aspire to be a pioneer of equality in the eyes of the whole sports community.”

The divisions below the National League will be called First Division, Second Division and so on.

In England the top tier is called Women’s Super League, in Germany it is Frauen Bundesliga and, in France, Division 1 Féminine.