Members of Canada’s national women’s soccer team scheduled to face Nigeria’s Super Falcons in the opening Group B duel next month, want a pay dispute settled before leaving for the World Cup which begins on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
Christine Sinclair, who holds the international goalscoring record, told the Canadian Press on Wednesday that the team wants the long simmering dispute settled before they get on the plane for a pre-tournament camp on June 28.
“We’re not at a point where we’re not getting on a plane, but time’s coming where we want it done so as players we’re not having to deal with it while we’re trying to prepare,” Sinclair, told the Canadian Press.
“But us as a women’s team have flat out told the CSA (Canada Soccer Association) that we need a deal in place for at least the World Cup and this year before we head down there.
“I think it will happen. Will it be a long-term deal? No. But something will be done before the World Cup starts.”
The demand is the latest salvo in a bitter dispute that has seen the women’s team threaten job action.
At the SheBelieves Cup in the United States in February the Canadian women sat out a practice and had threatened to boycott the four-team tournament.
They played under protest but vowed future boycotts if their demands over pay equity were not met.
The team has been without a collective bargaining agreement since 2021 but have agreed to a new deal in principal although several issues remain unresolved.
The Olympic champions are grouped with co-hosts Australia, Nigeria and Ireland at the World Cup. The seventh ranked Canadians open against Nigeria on July 21 in Melbourne.
Canada have qualified for every World Cup except the first in 1991 and have a best finish of fourth in 2003.
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