Players will go to arbitration
TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - Members of the Canada's Women's National Team
have voted unanimously to boycott future international soccer matches
until the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) repairs its relationship
with their coach, Carolina Morace.
Members of the women's team fully support Coach Morace and believe that
she is an essential component of the success of the women's team. The
women's team is insisting that the CSA use its best efforts to resolve
any outstanding issues with Carolina so that she will remain with the
The players' decision to boycott international matches comes at a time
when the women's team continues to be frustrated with the CSA. For the
past two years the women's team has requested that the CSA provide them
with a fixed term compensation agreement that provides stability and
predictability to players.
Lawyers representing the Women's National Team intend to file for
arbitration this week with the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of
Canada in the latest effort to resolve the issue.
Members of the women's team have been informed by a number of sources
that Canada's men's team operates under a fixed term arrangement with
the CSA under which members of the men's team are provided with
compensation on a per game basis. In contrast, the women's team
players, many of whom have no choice but to continue to live at home
with their parents, receive ad-hoc compensation from the CSA. Further,
the CSA has failed to disclose to the women's team the terms of the
arrangement with the men's team or provide information to justify
This year, women's team members dedicate themselves full-time to the
program in preparation for the FIFA Women's World Cup, June 26-July 17
in Germany. They current receive approximately $1,500 per month in
regular funding from Sport Canada, or $18,000 a year. The CSA's 2009
annual report indicates it made a $1.2 million operating profit that
year and had $3.5 million in total equity, including an $850,000
In contrast to the Canadian women's team, the U.S. national women's team
signed a six-year compensation agreement (2006-2012) that sets out a
payment system equivalent to the way the American men's national team
The women's program is in turmoil. Last weekend it was learned that
Coach Morace will step down after the World Cup. Players say a proper
compensation policy and control of the women's team budget - part of
the coach's agreement - could persuade Morace to reverse her decision
and stay on with the highly successful program.
"This is about fairness. Before the CSA moves forward with its 2015 FIFA
Women's World Cup bid for Canada, we think we need to get our own house
in order," said National Team forward Christine Sinclair, of Burnaby,
B.C., who last month was named Most Valuable Player at the 2011
Yongchuan Cup Four-Nation Women's Tournament in Chongqing, China.
"My teammates and I voted unanimously to boycott playing matches because
we don't want to lose our coach. The success she has brought to our
program the last two years is undeniable," said Sinclair.
Canada's Women's National Team had an 11-game winning streak end Jan.
23, 2011, and is ranked 9th in the world. Canada's men's team is ranked 80th.
Soccer is the most popular amateur sport in Canada (1) by a wide margin.
The number of females playing in Canada is growing at a faster rate
than males. As of 2008, more than 375,000 females played soccer in
Canada; 43 per cent of total players.
"Soccer is the number one amateur sport for children across the country
and it is imperative that in soccer, as with all sports, there is
gender equality. The women's team is entitled to know what the
arrangements are with the men's team and if there is inequality to have
the situation remedied." said Jim Bunting of Davies Ward Phillips
Vineberg, who is representing the members of the women's team on a pro bono basis.
The women's team leaves for Rome Feb. 11 to begin training in
preparation for the FIFA Women's World Cup. Sinclair said her teammates
are committed to training and are hoping to play in upcoming matches,
including the Cyprus Cup tournament (Feb. 28-March 10), but will not
compete in those matches unless the CSA repairs the relationship with
their Coach Carolina Morace.
(1) (Statistics Canada, General Social Survey http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2008001/t/10573/5214759-eng.htm)
SOURCE Canadian Women's National Soccer Team
For further information:
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO ARRANGE PLAYER INTERVIEWS CONTACT:
Bill Walker, Fleishman-Hillard Canada
(O) 416-645-8199; (C) 416-451-2809