Canada’s men’s and women’s soccer teams have issued a joint statement calling on Canada Soccer to consult with players before the next permanent president is elected.
Acting president, Charmaine Crooks, has taken over in the wake of Nick Bontis’ resignation, with an election set to take place in May to determine his successor.
The statement calls for “real and meaningful change” in Canada Soccer’s strategy, with the players stating that the next president must share their commitment to fully capitalizing on this moment in Canadian soccer.
The players have also repeated their call for Canada Soccer to open its books and address budget cuts and unauthorized use of national team player images.
Details of Canada Soccer’s controversial deal with Canadian Soccer Business, which handles broadcast rights and sponsorship for the organization, are expected to come out in parliamentary Heritage Committee hearings later this month. The committee has asked to see the agreement, along with Canada Soccer board minutes dating back to 2017.
The men’s and women’s teams are both negotiating collective bargaining agreements, with the women’s agreement having run out at the end of 2021, and the men’s team working on their first formal deal.
Last June, the Canadian men refused to play a planned friendly against Panama over their dissatisfaction with the progress of labour talks, while the women briefly downed tools before the recent SheBelieves Cup.
They eventually played the tournament under protest after Canada Soccer threatened them with legal action if they did not return to the field. The women’s team is asking for the same backing and preparation in advance of this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as the men received before Qatar.
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