Canadian National Soccer Teams Call For Investigation Of Canada Soccer Governance


In a statement shared Wednesday by Olympic gold medalist Christine Sinclair on Twitter, players said they were “deeply disturbed” by recent coverage of the “internal workings of Canada Soccer” by reporter Rick Westhead of Canada’s The Sports Network (TSN). .

The report, citing four unnamed sources, revealed that Canada Soccer was unable to adequately compensate players due to a contract it signed with a private company called Canada Soccer Business (CSB), which provides much of its revenue. of the national teams. .

No deal was reached and the two sides also continue to disagree over bonus money to the men’s team at the upcoming men’s World Cup in Qatar, TSN reported Tuesday.

But Canada Soccer told CNN that ongoing negotiations with the national teams “will not affect the CSB agreement that was voted on and passed by our board.”

“The CSB agreement does not contain any clause regarding prize money for player competitions. The two matters are unrelated,” Canada Soccer spokesman Paulo Senra told CNN in an email.

Canada Soccer did not comment on CNN over allegations of criticism of their governance practices.

Neither the Canadian Premier League, which launched Canadian Soccer Business in 2018, nor Sport Canada have responded to CNN’s request for comment. On Wednesday, the Canadian men’s and women’s teams have a joint statement Ask Sports Canada to investigate Canada Soccer’s governance practices and the circumstances surrounding the agreement with CSB.

Sports Canada funds the country’s national sports organizations, including Canada Soccer.

The statement added that the investigation should look at the motives of those involved in the agreement with CSB and examine why the agreement remained in place when board members reportedly raised concerns.

Both national teams asked to be “duly consulted” when it came to important decisions by the governing body that affected them.

Senra told CNN that a board meeting was held on March 27, 2018, and members discussed and approved the CSB agreement after reviewing the agreement prior to the meeting.

Canada Soccer addressed its partnership with CSB in a statement released Tuesday, saying it was “proud of this historic partnership” that would “help develop and grow the game of soccer across the country.”

The federation also said that after previously engaging in contract negotiations independently of the national teams for men and women, it had prioritized “fairness and equal pay” in its ongoing negotiations with players.

Negotiations with the men’s national team were underway, the federation said, and an updated offer had been made on June 23. “The same offer is for our women’s national team,” the statement read.

But the players said the statement “is trying in vain to put a positive spin on what the article reveals,” and “does not confirm that Canada Soccer will immediately open its books and records and address its lack of transparency on a go-forward basis.” .”

It added: “Since Canada Soccer does not recognize any issues with its governance or leadership, it is also not committed to addressing any of the issues identified in the article.”

The Canadian men's and women's teams have issued a joint statement on the controversy surrounding governance in the national soccer board, Canada Soccer.

Canada’s men will compete in this year’s FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Qatar from November to December, after qualifying for the biggest football tournament for the first time in 36 years.

FIFA, the governing body of world football, has allocated $440 million in prize money. Teams eliminated in the group stage will receive $9 million each, while each participating country will receive $1.5 million before the start of the tournament to help cover preparation costs. The further the teams progress, the more prize money they will receive, with the winners taking home $42 million.

In June, the men’s national team went on strike for a friendly against Panama over the players’ compensation dispute.

In an open letter TSN’s Westhead posted on Twitter, the men’s team said they wanted 40 percent of the World Cup prize money, a travel package for friends and family for the tournament, and an “equitable structure with our women’s national team that shares the same players’ game.” fees, percentage of prize money earned at our respective FIFA World Cups and the development of a domestic competition for women.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Canada Soccer said such demands were “unsustainable” and not “financially feasible” because of the federation’s commitment to pay the women’s national team the same percentage as the men’s for every major tournament. The statement added that Canada Soccer was determined to find a solution.

In an email to CNN on Thursday, Canada Soccer spokesperson Senra said the federation’s newly appointed secretary general had offered to meet the women’s team and its representatives in Mexico after the Concacaf W Championships concluded. serving as a qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIFA World Cup and 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“We remain committed to open and transparent conversations with both our teams with the aim of finding a solution based on the values ​​of fairness and equal pay,” he added.

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