Plunged into turmoil, the Canadian men’s soccer team is at loggerheads with the national federation, and nothing indicates the precise moment of its return to competition.
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The 33 players on the team have decided not to play last Sunday’s friendly match against Panama in Vancouver, judging their remuneration insufficient following the country’s qualification for the next World Cup. As reported by a few sources, including the TSN network, the athletes concerned boycotted training sessions preceding the weekend meeting. But now, Canada’s presence in the CONCACAF Nations League A seems uncertain…
Indeed, the flag bearers of the maple leaf must receive the selection of Curaçao Thursday, at BC Place, before visiting Honduras on June 13, in San Pedro Sula. Except that the two parties involved in the dispute seem far from the account. Canada Soccer must obtain from FIFA $10 million by virtue of qualification for the World Cup: a spokesperson for the federation indicated to the same source that it was ready to pay 60% of the sum, to be distributed equitably between the men’s and women’s teams, while the players are asking for 75-100%.
“As an association, even if we only had the men’s and women’s formations to manage, and nothing else, we could not accept this proposal. Presented in this way, it is unsustainable, ”said President Nick Bontis at a press conference on Sunday evening, while saying that he was negotiating in good faith to conclude a fair and equitable agreement for all.
According to the players, the talks began in March, but only one offer – described as “archaic” – has been received since, last Thursday. In addition, a 10-year contract concluded with a company complicates the task. In a press release published on Saturday, they decried the pact with Canadian Soccer Business, which cuffs the team as to the possibility of generating more income, recalling a press release from the federation published at the signing of the agreement in 2018. This company independent has control over all corporate partnerships and broadcast rights for the men’s and women’s teams.
“Why did Canada Soccer give up its autonomy and give up the greatest opportunity in years to grow our program? We want to work with the organization, but the relationship has been eroded over the years. And now the federation is disrespecting our team and jeopardizing our efforts to raise our standards to effectively develop our sport in Canada,” the players wrote a few days ago.
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