Canada men’s football team decided not to suit up for their friendly with Panama because of a dispute with the Canadian football association over financial compensation and other matters, as reported by the broadcaster CTV.
TSN had first reported that national team players were offered about 10% of the total amount the country would get from FIFA, set to be at least $10 million (£8m). On Saturday, Canada Soccer told TSN their offer was 60% which will be split equally between players on the men’s and women’s teams.
“At no time has Canada Soccer presented a proposal for 10 per cent of the FIFA World Cup prize money. Nor, has the Association received a proposal from the Men’s National Team for 40 per cent of the prize money. To be clear, the Men’s National Team demand was for 75-100 per cent of the World Cup prize money”, the statement made by Canada Soccer read.
“The Association, in an effort to adhere to the principle of pay equity, proposed 60 per cent of the FIFA World Cup prize money to be split between the two National Teams (i.e., 30 per cent + 30 per cent to the players of each team) and 40 per cent for the Association. The Association believes that this proposal follows the principles of fairness and equity”, it further added.
Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis said that the offer had been compared to other countries. He said, “Canada Soccer has been working with the players in good faith to find a path forward that is fair and equitable to all.”
“We would like to have a fact-based discussion within the fiscal reality that Canada Soccer has to live with every day. Canada Soccer is committed to the principles of fairness and equity, and we believe we presented a fair offer to the players.”
Addressing their decision to not play the Panama friendly, Canadian players released a letter that said, “Canada Soccer has disrespected our team and jeopardised our efforts to raise the standards and effectively advance the game in Canada. We hope Canada Soccer will take decisive steps to work with our team so we can be back on the field for our match on June 9.”