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Canada women’s soccer pushes for equal pay as men’s team goes on strike

(Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

The Canadian women’s national soccer team is pushing for equal pay — while making it clear that receiving the same percentage of their World Cup prize money as the men’s team will not close the pay gap.

The men’s team refused to play its friendly Sunday against Panama, citing “unnecessarily prolonged” negotiations with Canada Soccer over its new deal. Men’s players are asking for more transparency, changes in leadership and better World Cup compensation.

Men’s players also asked for an “equitable” compensation structure for the men’s and the women’s teams, including the same “percentage of prize money earned at our respective FIFA World Cups.”

The women’s team, though, responded to the men’s team statement by noting that equal percentages are not equal pay.

“We are happy to hear that the Men’s National Team is asking Canada Soccer for ‘an equitable structure with our women’s national team,’” they wrote. “However, to be clear, the Women’s National Team does not view equal FIFA percentages as between our respective teams as equal pay.”

The women’s team is also in the midst of contract negotiations. Many have cited U.S. Soccer’s recent equal pay CBA as a game changer when it comes to women’s team negotiations.

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