Canada Soccer is holding emergency talks with the women’s national team in a bid to convince the players to return to the field. The Canadian women have refused to train or play, with support from the men’s team, until their grievances are heard and answered. The Olympic champion women says they are tired of not being treated equally with the men — and are not getting the same support in the lead-up to this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as the men did last year ahead of their soccer showcase in Qatar. Both teams are upset at budget cuts to their programs. And what they say is lack of financial transparency by Canada Soccer. The women are currently in Orlando, preparing for the Feb. 16 start of the SheBelieves Cup against the top-ranked United States. The ongoing labour boiled over Friday with threats of job action from the women and a call for Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge to step in from the men. “Enough is enough,” women’s captain Christine Sinclair said. “As a team, we’ve decided to take job action and from this moment on we’ll not be participating in any Canadian Soccer Association activities until this is resolved,” she told TSN. “Whether that’s training, whether that’s games.”
The women’s team said it is “outraged and deeply concerned with the news of significant cuts” to national team programs as it prepares for this summer’s World Cup. “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’s program are being compromised by Canada Soccer’s continued inability to support its national teams,” the women said in a statement posted on social media. “Pay equity for our Women’s National Team is at the core of our ongoing player negotiations. Canada Soccer will not agree to any deal without it,” the statement said. “That is why, after months of negotiations with our Women’s National Team and their legal counsel, Canada Soccer already issued a mutually-agreed to retroactive payment.”
The four-team SheBelieves Cup is part of Canada’s preparation for the World Cup, which kicks off July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. CBC.

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