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Canada ‘deeply disappointed’ despite reaching interim pay deal

(Photo by Li Yibo/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Canada women’s national soccer team has agreed to an interim deal with Canada Soccer that will cover compensation for 2023, including prize money from the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The players’ association announced the deal on Friday, but noted their disappointment in reaching the deal.

“As the extent of Canada Soccer’s financial constraints have been revealed, we have been forced to choose between compensation and the funding required to hold necessary training camps,” the statement read. “We have been forced to choose between receiving a fair share of the rewards from our teams’ successes at the World Cup and our commitment to equal pay and equal treatment with our men’s national team. These are choices we should not have to make.

“We are deeply disappointed to find ourselves without a more complete agreement at this crucial stage in our calendar.”

In a separate statement, Canada Soccer confirmed the agreement.

“This is another important step forward for equalizing the standard of care and pay equity for our players. We have been working collaboratively to find sustainable resolutions, and while there is more work to do, this deal ensures equal pay between both of our two national teams,” the statement said.

The interim deal ensures “at minimum” equal pay with the men’s team. However, there are “many more important items” that still need to be settled.

Previously, captain Christine Sinclair had said that the team, who are the reigning Olympic gold medalists, wanted to have a deal in place prior to the World Cup so that they could focus on soccer. At the time, a long-term solution was not expected.

“This isn’t over. We and the men’s national team remain committed to finding a long-term solution that provides for fair and equal treatment for our current national teams and investments in the future of Canadian soccer, but for now, our team just wants to focus on soccer,” the statement continued.

In a separate post, the players said that they would make no further comment on the issue until the tournament concludes.