BARRIO – The team’s refusal to play revolves around a dispute with Canada Soccer.
Canada have qualified for the 2022 World Cup for only the second time.
The players released a letter accusing Canada Soccer of “disrespecting” the team in relation to negotiations around World Cup prize money.
Among several issues outlined in the letter is a request for an equitable pay structure, along with the women’s national team, that would see them earn 40% of World Cup prize money.
There are conflicting reports around the percentage of World Cup prize money the players have been offered by Canada Soccer. TSN reported that national team players had been offered about 10% of the approximately $10 million the country would get from FIFA.
On Saturday, Canada Soccer told TSN its offer was 60% to be split equally between players on the men’s and women’s teams. “To be clear, the men’s national team demand was for 75-100% of the World Cup prize money,” Canada Soccer said in a statement.
“The association, in an effort to adhere to the principle of pay equity, proposed 60% of the Fifa World Cup prize money to be split between the two national teams (i.e. 30% + 30% to the players of each team) and 40% for the association.”
Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis later said the offer had been “benchmarked” against other national teams, adding: “Canada Soccer has been working with the players in good faith to find a path forward that is fair and equitable to all.
“We would like to have a facts-based discussion within the fiscal reality that Canada Soccer has to live with every day.
“Canada Soccer is committed to the principles of fairness and equity, and we believe we presented a fair offer to the players.”
Players also were reportedly upset about Canada Soccer’s arrangements for players’ families at the World Cup in Qatar, with only two family tickets offered per player.
Canada are due to play Curacao in the Concacaf Nations League on Thursday.
“Canada Soccer has disrespected our team and jeopardized our efforts to raise the standards and effectively advance the game in Canada,” read the letter released by the players, which apologized to Canadian and Panamanian fans.
“We hope Canada Soccer will take decisive steps to work with our team so we can be back on the field for our match on June 9.”
Let’s hope this matter gets settled quickly. Team Canada should not be missing these matches as they are needed to get ready for Qatar.