Why Canadian Soccer team went on strike after qualifying for FIFA World Cup in Qatar

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The Canadian soccer team sealed its place in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar on March 31, 2022. Two months after, the team decided to go on strike due to a dispute between the team and the country’s soccer governing body, Canada Soccer.

Note that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the second time in the history of the country that Canada will feature in the prestigious football tournament.

They have been grouped in Group F which comprises a European football powerhouse, Belgium. Other teams in the group are Croatia and Morocco.

Canadian soccer team which has never gone beyond the group stage of the World Cup and has yet to win a game in the tournament is expected to break boundaries in this year’s edition of the tournament. But the team’s preparation is being hampered by the dispute the team has with the country’s FA.

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Due to the dispute and the ongoing strike, the friendly game which was planned between the Canada soccer team and Panama on Sunday, June 5, 2022, had to be canceled. Canada’s friendly game against Iran has also been canceled.

Why the Canadian Soccer team went on strike

Why the Canadian Soccer team went on strike

The Canadian Soccer team is expected to kickstart its FIFA World Cup against Belgium on November 22, 2022, which means that the country has less than five months to prepare for the tournament.

Instead of preparing for the tournament, the team is fighting with Canada Soccer for disrespecting the players while negotiating the players’ financial benefits ahead of the tournament.

The Canadian soccer team wants an equitable pay structure, along with the women’s national team. If the team’s demand is approved, the team would earn nothing less than 40 percent of World Cup prize money.

Reports claimed that the Canada Soccer is ready to offer the Canadian soccer team just 10 percent of the total amount of money expected from the world football governing body, FIFA, for the tournament. The expected prize money from FIFA is said to be around $10 million.

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But a statement from Canada Soccer claimed that the football body has agreed to give the players 60 percent of the prize money which would be divided equally between the women’s team and the men’s team while the remaining 40 percent will go to the FA.

“To be clear, the men’s national team demand was for 75-100% of the World Cup prize money,” a statement from the FA read.

“The association, to adhere to the principle of pay equity, proposed 60% of the Fifa World Cup prize money to be split between the two national teams (i.e. 30% + 30% to the players of each team) and 40% for the association.”

Aside from the financial aspect of the tournament, the Canadian soccer team is said to be unhappy with the FA for offering only two free tickets to each of the players’ families.

“Canada Soccer has disrespected our team and jeopardized our efforts to raise the standards and effectively advance the game in Canada,” the team’s letter to the FA read.

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“We hope Canada Soccer will take decisive steps to work with our team so we can be back on the field for our match on June 9.”

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