Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today slammed the schedule for the Matildas’ qualification for the 2016 Olympics.

PFA Player Relations Executive Kathryn Gill said no player should be asked to play five games in ten days.

“This is another example of women footballers being treated like second class citizens,” said Gill.

“Ahead of the World Cup, players around the world expressed their disapproval of the synthetic surface. Now the top teams in Asia are being handed a brutal schedule to qualify for this showpiece event.

“It’s bad for football to be pushing through this many games in such a short period of time.

“It’s bad for the players who are forced to play this many games with a squad of 20 players, including only 17 outfield players.

“It greatly increases the risk of injury and will damage the quality of football the players are able to play.

“It’s disgraceful and shows just how much care there is for women who play this game at the highest level.

“Women who play football deserve a lot more respect than they are currently afforded by the game’s authorities.

“There’s an assumption of universal rights in football. Good pitches produce good football. Not pushing players till they’re about to collapse is good for players and good for the game.”