It appears Canada Soccer may soon join Hockey Canada in coming under the scrutiny of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Liberal MP Anthony Housefather says the parliamentary committee has already requested the minutes of Canada Soccer’s board and desires to query the governing body in a future meeting. And while Canada Soccer was one among several governing bodies the committee had already planned to look at, Housefather says it ought to be moved “to the highest of the list” given the continued labour impasse with the lads’s and ladies’s national soccer teams.
The Canadian women briefly went on strike over the weekend before being forced back onto the pitch by their governing body.
While Housefather, who represents the Quebec riding of Mount Royal, said while he doesn’t wish to prejudge the situation, “it might be good for Canadians to have us help unravel it.”
The Canadian women boycotted practice Saturday in Orlando and said they might not participate within the SheBelieves Cup until their grievances were addressed. But they reluctantly returned to training Sunday after Canada Soccer threatened them with legal motion in the event that they didn’t end their job motion.
Canada Soccer said the players “weren’t and should not in a legal strike position under Ontario labour law.” The ladies said they might play the SheBelieves Cup under protest.
The organization released an announcement to CBC Sports on Monday, reaffirming its desire to succeed in an agreement with its players.
“Our sole priority at once is to deal with the requests of the Women’s National Team Players and proceed to work collectively towards a resolution,” the statement read.
“We’re doing every part we are able to to get all parties across the finish line and we wish to succeed in an historic agreement — anchored on fairness and pay equity — with each of our Women’s and Men’s National Team Players.”
The four-country tournament kicks off Thursday with the Olympic champion Canadians, ranked sixth on this planet, taking up the top-ranked Americans.
The Canadian women are demanding the identical backing in preparing for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and Recent Zealand that the lads received last 12 months before Qatar. They usually want Canada Soccer to open its books.
In 2021, Canada Soccer spent $11 million on the lads’s team and $5.1 million on the ladies. Team captain Christine Sinclair notes some $2.5 million of the ladies’s funding got here from Own The Podium. That contribution means the federal government is watching.
Canadian Heritage deputy minister Isabelle Mondou was asked Monday during a standing committee hearing on the Status of Women about how national sport organizations fund their men’s and ladies’s team, with soccer used for instance.
“Sport Canada funds female teams and if the cash is not going to those teams, the minister could have to confirm this because that’s unacceptable,” Mondou said.
“Women’s sports ought to be funded to the identical extent.”
Canada Soccer has repeatedly said that pay equity might be a pillar of the brand new labour deal.
Each the lads’s and ladies’s soccer teams want more transparency in terms of Canada Soccer’s books, including its controversial agreement with Canada Soccer Business, which represents all corporate partnerships and broadcast rights related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including its national teams.
Under the deal, Canada Soccer Business pays Canada Soccer a set amount annually. It keeps the remainder under an agreement that helps fund the Canadian Premier League.
‘Cloaked in secrecy’
Canada Soccer saw the agreement — announced in March 2018 — as short-term pain for long-term gain. However it soon found its hands tied by way of reaping the financial awards of the ladies winning Olympic gold and the lads becoming the toast of CONCACAF in returning to the World Cup for the primary time in 36 years.
“How Canada Soccer is allocating or using funds is unclear and cloaked in secrecy,” the lads’s team said in an announcement Friday.
In an announcement Monday evening, Canada Soccer Business said it has offered to extend its payments to Canada Soccer.
“While CSB has never been a celebration to labour negotiations between Canada Soccer and its women’s and men’s national team players’ associations, several times over the past 12 months, and as recently as last month, we’ve proactively communicated to Canada Soccer leadership that we’re willing to supply incremental resources to Canada Soccer to assist further its mission,” it said.
“A central element of this outreach is ensuring any incremental funding provided by CSB is directed toward programming that could make a meaningful impact now and in future, corresponding to a fitting sendoff series for the Canadian women’s national team on Canadian soil ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, additional training resources, and continued commitment to improving youth programming. Those discussions are ongoing.”
“The ladies’s national team deserves the resources it needs to achieve success within the lead as much as the Women’s World Cup and beyond. We’re ready, willing, and capable of partner with all stakeholders to play our part to make that occur.”
CSB, which said it has invested near $100 million dollars in the event of soccer, didn’t specify what the incremental resources can be.
Housefather desires to make clear the Canada Soccer Business deal.
“As you saw with Hockey Canada, gaining access to documents means that you can ask very pointed questions,” he said. “However the essential thing here is there’s been a desire from the ladies’s and the lads’s national teams, on the very least, and I feel many others across the community to have greater transparency in Canada Soccer. And there is been questions on governance.
“These are the problems that our committee explored with Hockey Canada and these are the problems I feel we are going to explore with Canada Soccer.”
Canada Soccer names final roster for SheBelieves Cup
Also Monday, Canada Soccer named its final roster for the SheBelieves Cup with Sabrina D’Angelo, Kadeisha Buchanan, Jessie Fleming, Julia Grosso, Cloe Lacasse, Ashley Lawrence, Adriana Leon and Shelina Zadorsky late additions after arriving from their teams in Europe with the FIFA international window now open.
Amanda Allen, Victoria Pickett and Bianca St-Georges, who took part within the pre-tournament camp, didn’t make the ultimate roster.
“Every camp we’ve, it becomes an increasing number of difficult to pick out a roster, which speaks to the standard within the squad,” Canada coach Bev Priestman said in an announcement. “With some core players still out with long-term injuries, it provides us with an important opportunity to explore more talent against top World Cup opposition.”
Priestman has kept defender Sydney Collins to coach with the team. A former Cal Bears captain, Collins was taken eighth overall by the North Carolina Courage within the 2023 NWSL draft.
The Oregon-born Collins has each Canadian and U.S. citizenship and earned a call-up to the U.S. under-23 team last 12 months. Father Brett played three seasons within the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams while mother Susan played volleyball in Canada.
After the U.S., the Canadians face No. 8 Brazil on Sunday in Nashville and No. 11 Japan on Feb. 22 in Frisco, Texas.
It marks Canada’s second trip to the tournament. The primary was in February 2021 in Priestman’s debut as coach. The Canadians lost 1-0 to the U.S., beat Argentina 1-0 and lost 2-0 to Brazil.
Goalkeepers: Sabrina D’Angelo, Arsenal (England); Lysianne Proulx, SCU Torreense (Portugal); Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave FC (NWSL).
Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Chelsea (England); Gabrielle Carle, Washington Spirit (NWSL); Allysha Chapman, Houston Dash (NWSL); Sydney Collins*, North Carolina Courage (NWSL); Vanessa Gilles, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Jade Rose, Harvard University (NCAA); Ashley Lawrence, Paris Saint-Germain (France); Shelina Zadorsky, Tottenham (England).
Midfielders: Simi Awujo, USC (NCAA); Jessie Fleming, Chelsea (England); Julia Grosso, Juventus (Italy); Quinn, OL Reign (NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash (NWSL); Christine Sinclair (capt.), Portland Thorns (NWSL).
Forwards: Janine Beckie, Portland Thorns (NWSL); Jordyn Huitema, OL Reign (NWSL); Cloe Lacasse, SL Benfica (Portugal); Clarissa Larisey BK Hacken FF (Sweden); Adriana Leon, Manchester United (England); Evelyne Viens, Kristianstads DFF (Sweden); Jenna Hellstrom, Dijon FCO (France).