Soccer game

Canada men’s soccer match canceled as players demand more money

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A Sunday men’s soccer match between Canada and Panama was called off two hours before its start after Canadian players refused to enter the field due to a dispute over contract negotiations.

Canada have qualified for the World Cup for only the second time, but their players claim the country’s soccer association, Canada Soccer, dragged its feet in contract talks and only presented an offer. Thursday.

In a letter, Canada’s players called the contract offer “archaic”. They call for an “equitable structure with our women’s national team sharing the same player match fees, the percentage of prize money won at our respective FIFA World Cups and the development of a women’s national league”, as well than 40% of the team. World Cup prize money.

“We want to apologize to our fans,” the team wrote. “Playing at home with your support is everything to us. We hope that Canada Soccer will take decisive action to work with our team so that we can be back on the pitch for our game on June 9,” a reference to the scheduled match of the team in the Concacaf Nations League against Curaçao on Thursday in Vancouver.

Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis told reporters on Sunday night that the organization was “disappointed” with the team’s decision not to play and apologized to the team’s supporters.

“Canada Soccer has worked in good faith with the players to find a fair and equitable path for all,” said Bontis. “We would like to have a discussion based on facts within the framework of the fiscal reality that Canada Soccer has to live with every day. Canada Soccer is committed to the principles of justice and fairness and we believe we have presented a fair offer to the players. We compared our offer to that of other national teams around the world.

The Canadian women’s team is also negotiating its contract with Canada Soccer and, in a statement On Sunday night, he said he “won’t accept a deal that doesn’t offer equal pay” with the men’s team. Like the men, the women’s team is asking Canada Soccer to provide more information to its players on its financial situation, particularly with regard to its agreement with Canada Soccer Companyan entity launched in 2018 to run the country’s top domestic league and manage Canada Soccer’s commercial rights and commercial partnerships.

According to reportsCanada Soccer Business – “which is linked to the owners of the five-year-old Canadian Premier League” – retains much of the revenue generated by national teams, a framework championed by Bontis.

“Canada Soccer’s relationship with Canada Soccer Business has been instrumental in building soccer and growing the game in this country,” said Bontis. “They have invested substantial funds and support to promote football in this country at a critical time for its growth. In partnership, we have built a men’s professional league in this country, creating a national pathway for soccer talent from across Canada.

By TSN, Canada Soccer is set to receive more than $10 million from FIFA after qualifying for the World Cup. (Teams earn more money as they advance, with the winning team receiving $42 million.) In its first contract offer to players, Canada Soccer offered to give them 10% of that money , adding that players demand between 75 and 100%. . Bontis called this proposal “untenable” and said Canada Soccer responded with a proposal for “60% of the FIFA World Cup prize money to be shared between the two national teams”.

Last month, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced a new working agreement with its men’s and women’s national teams that narrowed the pay gap between the teams. American teams will pool World Cup bonuses received from FIFA and share them equally. Previously, the men’s team received much higher World Cup bonuses than the women’s team – even though the latter was much more successful on the world stage – because FIFA pays much larger sums to the men’s teams, citing the fact that the men’s tournament generates much more revenue. .

The good feelings engendered by Canada’s first World Cup appearance since 1986 have been at least partially dampened, and not just because of the pay dispute. Sunday’s canceled game was itself a substitution. Canada was originally scheduled to face Iran, but this game has been cancelled amid criticism of the decision to schedule this opponent.