Canada’s men’s soccer team declined to play a game against Panama on Sunday amid tense labor negotiations with the country’s soccer governing body.
The players are looking to match game revenue and share World Cup prize money with the Canadian women’s team.
The game was canceled two hours before the scheduled start at BC Place in Vancouver. The Canadian players declined to train on Friday and Saturday as they prepare for their first World Cup appearance since 1986.
The men’s team released a statement on Sunday amid heated negotiations with governing body Canada Soccer, less than a month after unions for the U.S. men’s and women’s teams reached a historic equal pay agreement with the United States. United States. Soccer, the federation of this country.
“It’s time for us to support the future of soccer in Canada,” the statement read.
The players said they wanted 40 per cent of their World Cup prize money, a travel package for friends and family, and a “fair structure with our women’s national team sharing the same match fee, percentages of the prize money in our respective FIFA World Cups and the development of a women’s league in the country”.
“We want to work with our organization, but the relationship has been strained for years,” the players said in a statement. “And now Canada Soccer has disrespected our team and compromised our efforts to raise the bar and advance the sport in Canada.”
At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Nick Bontis, president of Canada Soccer, apologized to fans who were due to attend Sunday’s game and called the players’ demands untenable.