CanMNT players return to training amid discussions with Canada Soccer

Lizzy Becherano
Canada MNT players have returned to training amid ongoing conversations with Canada Soccer.
Canada MNT players have returned to training amid ongoing conversations with Canada Soccer. / PATRICK T. FALLON/GettyImages

The Canadian men’s national team has resumed training ahead of their Nations League match on Thursday against Curacao at BC Place, amid ongoing discussions with Canada Soccer. 

The team previously skipped two training sessions and refused to take the field against Panama on Sunday to protest player compensation issues. The match was subsequently canceled hours before kick off, as the team released an open letter citing several demands to move forward with Canada Soccer. No such deal has been agreed upon. 

“We want to work together with our organization, but the relationship has been strained for years,” the players said in an open letter released Sunday. “And now, Canada Soccer has disrespected our team and jeopardized our efforts to raise the standards and effectively advance the game in Canada.”

Among several issues included in the open letter, the CanMNT players demanded a bigger cut of the World Cup prize money, a comprehensive friends and family travel package and highlighted an equal pay structure for both the men’s and women’s national teams going forward. 

Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis addressed the situation, clearly stating the requirements included in the letter cannot be accepted. 

“I cannot accept an offer that will put our organization in a financial position that is untenable,” Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis said in a hastily arranged news conference after the game was cancelled. 

“And what I need to do is explain to the players, which we have, what our financial position is and how we can move forward.”

Players have not spoken to the media directly since the cancellation of the friendly, but Canada Soccer confirmed through a statement that players and organization will continue to meet. 

“Canada Soccer senior leaders and the Men’s National team players met on Sunday night to continue the negotiation process. The Players will train this afternoon with future meetings scheduled toward a solution.”