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Christine Sinclair: Ex-Canada Soccer president belittled WNT’s concerns

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

Members of the Canada women’s national soccer team testified in front of members of Canadian parliament Thursday, revealing details of their ongoing negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

The women’s and men’s nationals team have been embroiled in a very public labor dispute with their federation. Ahead of Thursday’s testimonies, Canada Soccer released details of its proposed CBA to the public but did not give any notice to players.

Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane said the federation has been “negotiating in good faith” with the national teams, but players said the surprise release runs contrary to that statement.

“We feel quite disrespected by the way they conducted their business today,” Janine Beckie said. “We believe it should have stayed between the players association and the CSA. There were terms in their release that haven’t been shown to us.”

Canada captain Christine Sinclair spoke of the “culture of secrecy and obstruction” in the federation under former president Nick Bontis, who resigned in February. She also said she has “never been more insulted” than she was by Bontis.

“We met with him to discuss our concerns,” Sinclair said. “I was tasked with outlining our compensation ask on behalf of the Women’s National Team. The president of Canada Soccer listened to what I had to say and then later in the meeting referred back to it as, quote, ‘What was it Christine was b—-ing about?’”

She also added that pay equity is just “a little piece of the puzzle” in the wider fight between the women’s national team and Canada Soccer.

“I’m not sure honestly where we go from here,” she said. “There’s a few simple things that need to be addressed by the CSA.”