The Canadian Womens National Team have decided to boycott matches after their coach, Morace left following disputes with the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and in response to poor compensation/salary packages offered to the women. The women currently get paid $1,500/month and play for teams like Vancouver Whitecap, which according to some websites I checked out don’t really pay the womens’ players much (some teams don’t pay them at all, while Vancouver makes the players pick up over jobs like coaching summer camps). The CSA also ridiculously requires the womens’ team to qualify for major tournaments before paying – should the team not qualify, they would receive no pay. As with the sports industry in general, there’s a great deal of sexism, as there’s no doubt that the mens’ team gets compensated at a much higher number (and the CSA has refused to release the men’s numbers). While at the same time, given how competitive the sports is, with players all over the world, at the ‘lower end’ of teams playing for North America’s first division, ‘Major League Soccer’, after recent rule changes, players can make as little as $32,000. Last year, Toronto FC players like Attakora, who is quickly becoming one of TFC’s most important players, made only $40,000. It was even worse just a few years ago, many players earned even less. Toronto FC’s Andreas Lombardo was making $17,700 and was unable to move out from his parents’ house. He later dropped out of professional soccer and went to York University.
The Canadian Soccer Association has made a long sought cash offer to its women’s soccer team, just days after the club threatened to boycott prestigious international matches. But the women are digging in their cleats, refusing to budge on their decision to sit out lucrative matches until the CSA resolves its issues with popular coach Carolina Morace, who announced Friday she would be leaving the team after this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Details about the compensation offer are sparse, but Bunting said the team long ago asked the CSA for information on how the national men’s soccer team is paid, for comparison’s sake. They have not yet received it. Right now, he said, there is no consistency in how compensation is provided to the women’s team, which has to constantly renegotiate salary. The women are paid for major events, such as the World Cup and Olympics but only once they’ve qualified to participate in such events. Knowing well that watching matches from the sidelines could impact the team’s ability to compete at the World Cup this summer, the women unanimously decided that a boycott was its only recourse against the CSA.
“I’ve been playing on the national team for 10 years and nothing’s changed. In fact things have probably gone backwards in terms of the CSA’s dealing with the women’s team. And I feel I’m in a position in my career and a position on the national team where you’re fighting for the bigger picture, you’re fighting for future national team players, the young ones on the team, the young kids that are playing soccer now throughout Canada.
The women currently get some $1,500 a month from Sport Canada.
Currently the players negotiate compensation with the CSA at the events in questions. But Sinclair says the association tends to drag talks out into the competition itself.