A soap opera is playing out in Canada, as the Canadian Women’s National Team (Canada XNT) threatened to strike if they weren’t funded at the same level as the Canadian Men’s National Team (Canada MNT). They posted their plan of action and reasons for striking after negotiating with Canada Soccer, the governing body of the sport in the nation, for over a year.
It’s truly unfair to compare men’s and women’s national teams, of course, but it should be noted that the Canada MNT is ranked 53rd in the world (FIFA), did not qualify for the World Cup between 1986 and last year, lost all three games in the 2022 group stage, and last won Olympic gold in the 1904 games. The Canadian XNT is ranked sixth in the world (FIFA), will play in their eighth straight World Cup later this year, and has won Olympic bronze in 2012 and 2016 as well as gold in 2020.
An unfair comparison indeed.
Canada Soccer had the option to either agree to fund the players at an equal rate despite their clearly unequal standing in the game, or lawyer up and threaten to sue.
They opted to lawyer up and threaten to sue (Canada Soccer).
The Canada XNT had no choice but to agree to play, since a suit would take away from money they didn’t have because they aren’t being funded.
The last thing these players should be forced to deal with when gearing up for the biggest tournament on the planet is having to publicly fight for the basic necessities from the very body that should be taking care of them. The good news is that Canada Soccer still has time to do the right thing and fund the Canada XNT at an equal level to the Canada MNT. The bad news is that Canada Soccer doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to doing the right thing (CBC.ca).