Canada braces for US amid concerns over federation affairs

By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Canada’s women’s national team is mindful of concerns about its association at home as it focuses on a showdown with the United States in Mexico.

An investigation by The Sports Network this week detailed a controversial agreement between Canadian Soccer and Canadian Soccer Corporation, which controls the federation’s media rights and sponsorship deals, as both the men’s and women’s teams seek better and fairer pay.

Earlier this week, Canada’s senior national teams issued a statement about the media revelations, demanding a full investigation by the agency that regulates sport in Canada.

“This must include a closer examination of the motivations of those who allegedly entered into this agreement without regard to basic standards of good governance, and why the agreement was allowed to remain in place when committee members raised concerns,” the statement said. said. “Going forward, we call for proper consultation with Canadian national team members on key Canadian soccer decisions that affect national teams.”

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The Canadian women, gold medalists at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, are in Monterrey for the CONCACAF W Championship, which serves as a qualifier for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Canada and the United States are scheduled to meet in the final on Monday.

Midfielder Quinn said players are still digesting the TSN article.

“It’s been a tough week, but obviously we’ve got an important game ahead of us,” Quinn said. “That will be the focus of our continued work.”

Concerns about Canada Soccer’s relationship with the CSB came to light last month when Canada’s men’s team refused to play in a friendly against Panama amid strained labor negotiations.

One point of contention was the $10 million FIFA bonus the men’s team earned for qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Canadian national teams believe they are entitled to a share of the bonus.

The men’s team asked for 40% of the World Cup prize money, a travel package for friends and family and “a fair structure with our women’s national team sharing equal player match fees, a percentage of prize money earned at our FIFA World Cups. “

Canada Soccer considers these demands unsustainable. The proposed distribution of World Cup prize money was not financially viable when the share of the women’s national team was taken into account.

“It is crucial to reiterate and be absolutely clear: Fairness and equal pay are at the heart of our ongoing negotiations and we are committed to finding a solution that meets both values,” Canada Soccer said in a statement.

The players also called for transparency regarding the agreement between the federation and the CSB, which uses revenue from the deals to help fund Canada’s eight-team professional soccer league.

The Canadian women have already qualified for the 2023 World Cup as semi-finalists in the W Championship, but the winner earns an appearance at the 2024 Olympics. Canada won the gold medal at the Tokyo Games, defeating Sweden on penalties in the final after they defeated USA with 1:0.

Team captain Christine Sinclair, who released a joint statement from the national teams, reiterated that the team needs to be focused on the tournament right now.

“Obviously we appreciate the support we’ve received from around the world, but nothing more has happened. There is nothing more to say,” Sinclair said.

Canadian players have been negotiating with the union following a landmark equal pay agreement between U.S. Soccer and its players.

“The men’s team has our full support and we’re both on the same page,” Sinclair said. “Now it’s just a question of how to get Canada Soccer involved.”

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