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Christine Sinclair puts pressure on Canada Soccer after men’s star inks jersey deal

Christine Sinclair criticized Canada Soccer for its "culture of secrecy and obstruction." (Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Christine Sinclair is putting the pressure on Canada Soccer.

Earlier this week, the sport’s governing body in Canada reached a licensing agreement with men’s national team star Alphonso Davies, TSN’s Rick Westhead reported. As a result, Davies will receive royalties for the sale of his jersey.

No other men’s or women’s national team player has such an agreement, but a source told Westhead that Davies’ deal could have positive implications for other players.

“The federation today is all about equality and equity,” the source said. “Christine Sinclair has carried this program for more than a decade and not made a cent off of jersey sales. Both national teams have overperformed and Canada Soccer really has no choice but to offer the same deal Alphonso got to all other national team players, so that’s good news for everyone.”

But Sinclair has yet to hear from Canada Soccer regarding licensing rights, she said in response to the report.

“I’m waiting to hear from the CSA…” she tweeted.

The 39-year-old serves as the captain for both Canada and for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, who will compete in the NWSL championship match at 8 p.m. ET Saturday against the Kansas City Current. She spoke recently with Just Women’s Sports about the push for equality at the national team level.

“It’s just been a struggle to get from Canada Soccer what we as successful women’s players think we deserve,” she said.

According to Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane, the women’s team has a sponsorship agreement related to name, image and likeness that uses the “global standard.” Under that contract, additional compensation is not required “if you use an image of four or more athletes in a group image.”

Both the men’s and women’s national teams are embroiled in contract negotiations with Canada Soccer, and the women’s team is continuing to push for equal pay in the vein of the landmark collective bargaining agreements reached by the U.S. men’s and women’s national team earlier this year.

“The Women’s National Team will not accept an agreement that does not offer equal pay,” the Canadian women’s national team said in June.

Back in September, Canada Soccer had made a new offer to the men’s and women’s players, Sportsnet reported. So far, though, no agreements have been reached on either side.

“The veterans on the national team said that one of our goals is to leave the program in a better place,” Sinclair told Just Women’s Sports. “Hopefully this is one fight that our young players on the national team won’t have to have again, and that once there’s equal pay and equal compensation structures in place, there’s no going back from that.”