The Canadian men’s national team protested Canada Soccer on Sunday, refusing to take the field against Panama at BC Place.
The hosts went on strike in protest of player compensation issues, among other things. The match was subsequently canceled just hours before kick off.
CanMNT players released an open letter to explain the nature of the strike.
“In March, we initiated contract discussions with Canada Soccer. Due to executives delaying the process and taking vacations, the negotiation process was unnecessarily prolonged," it read.
"Canada Soccer waited until the evening of June 2nd to present an archaic offer and the general secretary & president of the association only made themselves available for the first time to connect with the players on June 4th at 4:00pm,” the letter explained.
To move forward, the players included specific demands be met by Canada Soccer, including equal pay for the Women’s team and 40 percent of the prize money earned during qualifiers.
The Canadian women’s national team have since released their own open letter in response to their counterpart, echoing the request for equal pay.
“We have been clear throughout these discussions (and before) that we are seeking an agreement with Canada Soccer that will provide equal pay to members of our team relative to the Men’s National Team. The Women’s National Team will not accept an agreement that does not offer equal pay,” the letter read.
“On Friday, Canada Soccer tabled a proposal to both the Men’s and Women’s National Teams. We continue to review that proposal despite not yet having the benefit of all the information that we have asked Canada Soccer to provide regarding its financials, including with respect to its agreement with Canada Soccer Business.
"However, the Women’s National Team believes that the CSA’s most recent proposal represents a positive step toward pay equity between the Men’s and Women’s Teams, and one that provides a basis for further negotiations with the CSA.
“We are happy to hear that the Men’s National Team is asking Canada Soccer for “[an] equitable structure with our women’s national team”. However, to be clear, the Women’s National Team does not view equal FIFA percentages as between our respective teams as equal pay.”
Canada’s ongoing talks come weeks after the United States announced a historic CBA that confirmed the men’s and women’s national teams would be rewarded equally moving forward.