Women from Canada continue training after the federation meeting – KGET 17

Canada’s women’s national team announced Saturday night that the players will return to team activities after Canada Soccer threatened legal action over their protest of cuts to the women’s program.

The players did not train earlier on Saturday in preparation for this week’s SheBelieves Cup match against rivals USA in Florida, after announcing the day before: “The time is now, we are going into action.”

Canada Soccer representatives and legal counsel met with the team on Saturday.

“Prior to that meeting, Canada Soccer told us they considered our industrial action an illegal strike,” the team said in a statement released Saturday night.

The players claimed that Soccer Canada has threatened “not only to take legal action to force us to return to the field, but to consider taking steps to collect millions of dollars in damages from our players’ association and from every single player currently in camp ” if they have not committed to play in the tournament.

“As individual players who have not yet received any compensation for any of our work for Canada Soccer in 2022, we cannot afford the risks that Canada Soccer’s personal action against us will create,” the statement said. “Therefore, we have informed Canada Soccer that we will be returning to training tomorrow and will play in the SheBelieves Cup as scheduled.”

Canada Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The Canadian women won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and qualified last summer for the World Championships in Australia and New Zealand, which begin on July 20.

Canada was scheduled to play its opening game of the SheBelieves Cup against the United States on Thursday at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Japan and Brazil are also playing in a round-robin tournament that will visit three American cities.

Team captain Christine Sinclair and teammate Janine Beckie told Canadian television network TSN on Friday that the players do not intend to participate in any Canadian Football Association activities until this is resolved.

The players claim they have had to cut training camp days and full camp windows, and have reduced the number of players and staff invited to camps. They were told there would be no home games on the schedule before the World Cup.

Canada’s players — both men and women — are in the midst of negotiations with Canada Soccer over a new collective bargaining agreement. Women demand equal pay as men.

The Canadian men’s team issued a statement of support for the women on Friday.


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