Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team Striking Over Financial Support, Wage Disparity
Albert Perez/Getty Images
The Canadian women’s national soccer team is on strike due to pay equity problems and budget cuts.
Star forwards Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie confirmed the news to Rick Westhead of TSN on Friday:
Rick Westhead @rwesthead
Christine Sinclair: “Until this is resolved I cannot represent this association… “
Sinclair and Janine Beckie confirm Canadian women’s national team is on strike over pay equity issues and budget cuts.
Details with interviews on @SportsCentre at 6 pm.@sincy12 @janinebeckie https://t.co/GW30yPKE5b
The players also released a statement:
The time is now, we are taking job action. pic.twitter.com/QbVbhTcdDU
“With the biggest tournament in women’s football history less than six months away, our preparation for the World Cup and the future success of the women’s national team program are being compromised by Canada Soccer’s continued inability to support its national teams,” the statement read, in part. “Despite our strong track record of success and history-making achievements for more than a decade, we continue to be told there is not enough money to adequately fund our program and our youth teams.”
The players are also calling for sweeping change in Canadian soccer leadership:
“If Canada Soccer is not willing or able to support our team, new leadership should be found. We are committed to do whatever it takes to create public awareness of this crisis and to force Canada Soccer to start to support the national teams properly.”
Canada is currently scheduled to participate in the SheBelieves Cup, a four-team tournament featuring the United States, Brazil and Japan. Canada is scheduled to play host United States on Thursday at Orlando, Florida’s Exploria Stadium.
Canada has also qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with its first match set for July 21 against Nigeria in Melbourne, Australia.
The players have made it clear, however, that the team will do “whatever it takes” to raise awareness of the situation, and that means a strike before two major tournaments.
“If Canada Soccer is not willing or able to support our team, new leadership should be found,” the players wrote. “We are committed to do whatever it takes to create public awareness of this crisis and to force Canada Soccer to start to support the national teams properly.”
As noted by Westhead, the Canadian men’s soccer team has released a statement in support of the women’s team, saying that national team budgets are “cloaked in secrecy” among other claims.
The Canadian women’s team, which won Olympic gold two years ago, is ranked No. 6 in the world.