Canadian Women’s National Team Wants Deal Done Before World Cup
The Canadian women’s national team is one week away from heading to Australia for a World Cup preparation camp and a friendly behind closed doors against England.
While they had a training session on Wednesday at BMO Field, before meeting the media the team stated they want a deal done before they board the plane for the Australia.
“We’re not at a point where we’re not getting on a plane, but time’s coming where we want it done so as players we’re not having to deal with it while we’re trying to prepare,” said Canada captain Christine Sinclair.
Both the men’s and women’s national teams have been in labour disputes with the federation for over a year.
It got to a point where post-game after Canada lost to the US, John Herdman sounded off saying he has to spend his spare time asking for money to charter flights.
“We got the World Cup and we are not even ready for it,” he had said.
Herdman stated the fact the team had four days to train while the US, Panama, and Mexico had two weeks with one friendly game, but didn’t want to make it sound like an excuse.
“It’s a complete fact this federation is suffering financially.”
“Obviously there has been a lot of changeover at the CSA (Canada Soccer) in recent months,” Sinclair told The Canadian Press. “We knew this was going to be a fight. We knew it was going to take some time.”
“But we as a women’s team have flat out told the CSA that we need a deal in place for at least the World Cup and this year before we head down there. So obviously we’re getting close. I think it will happen. Will it be a long-term deal? No. But something will be done before the World Cup starts.”
Canada is currently ranked seventh in the world and will face world number 40 Nigeria in their opening game before facing number 22 Ireland, and will cap off the group stage against hosts world number 10 Australia.
“Our conversations are ongoing and we share the desire to get this resolved as soon as possible,” interim Canada Soccer general secretary Jason DeVos said in a statement given to The Canadian Press.
The women formed the Canadian Soccer Player Association back in 2016 and have been without a labour deal since it expired at the end of 2021.
They were able to strike a deal on compensation for 2022 but mention other issues that need to be resolved.
The men ,who formed the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team Players Association, are trying to get their first labour agreement completed.
Both the men and the women took job action against Canada Soccer with the men boycotting an international friendly against Panama last summer while the women played in protest at the SheBelieves Cup.
They wanted to strike, but after one day the women were threatened by Canada Soccer to play or face legal action.
“I don’t know all the details on the men’s side of things but we’re fighting the same fight,” said Sinclair. “I think us as players, we fear that we as national teams could get left behind when you see the support that other federations are putting into their teams, putting into their youth programming, putting into professional leagues.”
“If we want to remain relevant, yes, some things are going to have to change.”
Header Image Photo Credit: Audrey Magny / Canada Soccer