CanMNT players refuse to train amid pay dispute

Chris Smith
Canada are slated to face Panama on Sunday.
Canada are slated to face Panama on Sunday. / Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadian Men's National Team reportedly refused to train on Friday ahead of their friendly against Panama on Sunday amid ongoing discussions regarding player compensation.

According to TSN, equipment was set up at the Vancouver Whitecaps' training facility on Friday, but had to be quickly packed away with the field left empty when the session was scheduled to start. It remains unclear whether or not the players will refuse to play in Sunday's match, or the Concacaf Nations League match against Curacao on June 9.

The standoff between the players and Canada Soccer has been going on for some time now following a contract offer tabled in April.

The Canadian federation will reportedly receive at least C$10m from Fifa for their participation in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. TSN report that Canada Soccer has offered to pay the 33 players on the final roster for the tournament 10% of that sum, with the remainder used for admin costs, a proposed national training center, and grassroots soccer initiatives.

But it appears the CanMNT players are looking for something closer to 40% of that C$10m sum, with the two parties at odds as a result.

Some CanMNT players are also thought to be unhappy over Canada Soccer's plans to support players' families at the World Cup in Qatar. Players will be given two free tickets per match to distribute to friends and family, who will be responsible for paying for their own travel and accommodation at the tournament.