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Canada Soccer reaches funding deal with women’s squad

Canada’s soccer federation said Thursday it has reached an interim funding deal with its national women’s team in the wake of a gender equity dispute that led to its president’s ouster.

Mirroring a similar deal reached with the men’s squad, it includes per-game incentives and results-based compensation, according to a statement.

“This is about respect, this is about dignity, and this is about equalising the competitive environment in a world that is fundamentally unequal,” said Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane.

“We have been consistent and public about the need to have fairness and equal pay be pillars of any new agreements with our players, and we are delivering on that today.”

A new overarching collective bargaining agreement with both the men’s and women’s national teams currently being negotiated, however, may result in changes to the interim deal.

On Wednesday, Former Olympic athlete Charmaine Crooks was named acting president of Canada Soccer, replacing Nick Bontis who resigned suddenly earlier this week.

Canada Soccer was plunged into crisis in February with the country’s women’s squad threatening to boycott the SheBelieves Cup tournament in the United States.

The Canadian women — the reigning Olympic champions — had vowed to go on strike over pay, funding and contractual issues while demanding the same terms as the men’s team.

The women eventually called off the strike threat after being informed that boycotting the friendly tournament would be unlawful and could trigger legal action.

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