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Canada women’s team set France match for April amid boycott talks

Reigning Olympic women’s football champion Canada will play France on April 11 at Le Mans in a Women’s World Cup tuneup match for both squads, provided the Canadians don’t boycott.

Canada Soccer announced on Tuesday plans for the match during FIFA’s April international window, with both teams set to compete three months later in the global showdown hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

But the Canadian women have asked for equal support for World Cup preparations as their male counterparts received for last year’s event in Qatar.

After refusing to train ahead of the ongoing SheBelieves Cup event in the United States, Canada’s women returned to work after threats of legal action by Canada Soccer — though they are playing under protest.

Measures by the women to force action from Canada Soccer could include a boycott of the April match, even though it could rob them of a crucial test against the French.

“Playing a top team like France heading into a World Cup gives us the opportunity to see where we’re at, learn and test ourselves,” Canada coach Bev Priestman said in a statement.

“We also know the importance and prevalence of European opposition at the World Cup so it will add to our great experiences as it has been three years since playing France.”

Canada is set to face Nigeria, Ireland and co-host Australia at Aussie venues in July group-stage matches.

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