Oh, Canada. The Canadian Women’s National Team takes a stand, says they haven’t been paid for all of 2022 — Alex Morgan speaks
The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, Feb. 13, 2023
Happy Soccer Monday. (Editor’s note: due to my oversight, you are receiving this early Tuesday. It’s my fault, I’m sorry!) So it was a crappy week. My Twitter got hacked and I was locked out of my account, right at the NBA trade deadline — when I arguably need Twitter the most for work. So I was dealing with trades — and trade fallout (the Gary Payton II saga for those of you in PDX) — when the Canada women went on `strike,’ and a bunch of other stuff was going on. So forgive me if this post is a little shorter than usual.
Obviously, the big story in women’s soccer over the weekend was Canada. The labor issues in Canada have been brewing for a while, going back to the men’s boycott of a match in Vancouver last June because of the dispute with their federation. I wrote about it shortly before the men’s World Cup in Qatar, and Canada Soccer said progress was being made.
But apparently, it’s much worse than we knew.
To recap, the players from the women’s team announced they were taking a “job action” on Friday. On Saturday, the team did not participate in training ahead of the SheBelieves Cup.
According to a later statement by the women, they haven’t been paid yet for 2022. That’s a HUGE problem. Also, no home matches ahead of the World Cup.
Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie spoke to Rick Westhead with TSN, a Canadian Sports Network. By the way, Westhead has been all over this story and has some really good sources.
“It hurts, I’m not going to lie. We all represent this country proudly. We’ve shared some of the greatest moments together. But to not feel that support from your own federation has been hard in the past. But it’s gotten to a point where, at least for me personally, until this is resolved I can’t represent this federation,” Sinclair told TSN.
The whole debacle raises more questions about Canada Soccer and its relationship to Canada Soccer Business. The CSB controls media and sponsorship deals, and in turn pays the federation a guaranteed sum of $3 million-$4 million a year. Not a lot!
Both the men’s and women’s teams have been asking for details about the federation’s finances, but say they have not been provided.
The men talked about it a bit more in their statement of support for the women’s team.
So the women skipped practice Saturday morning in Orlando, and then had a meeting with Canada Soccer.
The decision was made to return to training and play, but the players said Canada Soccer forced their hand.
Sinclair also said: “To be clear. We are being forced back to work for the short term. This is not over. We will continue to fight for everything we deserve and we will win. The She Believes is being played in protest.”
On Canada Soccer’s side, they sent out a statement saying they support the women and equal pay, but added this:
Canada Soccer has also seen the comments from the CSPA about ‘forcing’ the players back to work. Canada Soccer respects the players’ right to organise. The players, while having taken job action, were not and are not in a legal strike position under Ontario labour law. Canada Soccer was not prepared to jeopardize the SheBelieves Cup tournament, the preparation it would afford the Women’s National Team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, nor the experience it would afford countless fans who had undoubtedly traveled to Orlando to see their National Team heroes. Canada Soccer therefore took the necessary steps to ensure that such games will be played as scheduled. Canada Soccer is heartened that the Women’s National Team Players will play as it committed.
Anyway, Thursday’s game between the US and Canada in Orlando promises to be very interesting! Stay Tuned!
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Alex Morgan played a part in Super Bowl Sunday. She also spoke to the media, see below.
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