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NWSL’s Bay FC Breaks Women’s Soccer Transfer World Record with Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji

  • The NWSL expansion team broke the transfer world record in women’s soccer.
  • The league’s record-breaking new media rights deal is trickling down to players.
Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji
Madrid C.F.F.

Another day, another broken record in women’s sports.

Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji signed with NWSL expansion team Bay FC, the club announced Tuesday. In acquiring Kundananji from her current team Madrid CFF, Bay FC paid a record-breaking €735,000 transfer fee (about $789,000), plus $75,000 in “performance-based add-ons,” The Equalizer first reported. It’s the highest transfer fee ever paid in women’s soccer, a number set just a few weeks ago by Mayra Ramírez’s move from Levante to Chelsea FC for a transfer fee of €450,000 plus €50,000 in extras (about $537,000).

Kundananji’s signing comes off a hot month for the sport—women’s international transfer fees hit a record $2.1 million in the January transfer window, up more than 150% from the year before, according to a report from FIFA.

The 23-year-old signed a four-year deal (including an option for a fifth) set above $2 million, and valued at more than $2.5 million when counting amenities like paid housing, The Equalizer reported.

She’ll become one of the highest-paid players in the league, a symptom of the NWSL’s record-breaking new media rights deal and subsequent doubled salary cap. María Sánchez and Mallory Swanson both set a league record with their contracts this offseason—Swanson will reportedly get $2 million in a four-year deal, with an option for a fifth.

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