As the 2023 Women’s World Cup draws near, members of Canada’s national women’s team are demanding that their pay dispute be resolved before they leave for the tournament. The team, which includes star player Christine Sinclair, wants the issue settled before they head to their pre-tournament camp on June 28th.
Sinclair, who holds the international goalscoring record, told the Canadian Press that the team has flat out told the Canada Soccer Association that they need a deal in place for at least the World Cup and this year before they head down there. “We’re not at a point where we’re not getting on a plane, but time’s coming where we want it done so as players we’re not having to deal with it while we’re trying to prepare,” she said.
This latest demand is part of a bitter dispute that has seen the women’s team threaten job action. At the SheBelieves Cup in the United States in February, the Canadian women sat out a practice and had threatened to boycott the four-team tournament. They played under protest but vowed future boycotts if their demands over pay equity were not met.
The team has been without a collective bargaining agreement since 2021 but have agreed to a new deal in principal although several issues remain unresolved. As Olympic champions, the Canadians are grouped with co-hosts Australia, Nigeria, and Ireland at the World Cup. They open against Nigeria on July 21st in Melbourne.
Canada has qualified for every World Cup except the first in 1991 and has a best finish of fourth in 2003. As they prepare for this year’s tournament, the team hopes that their pay dispute will be resolved so that they can focus on their performance on the pitch.