In the midst of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, emotions are running high among the men’s side.

As part of its continuing labor dispute with Canada Soccer, the Canadian men’s soccer team issued cease and desist orders to the organization’s sponsors. The squad claims that Canada Soccer is using the upcoming Women’s World Cup as leverage to force them into an unfair contract.

The men believe that Canada Soccer intends to reduce the players’ remuneration. By doing so, the Federation keeps most of the World Cup prize money for themselves. The letter also brings up the absence of compensation for the players’ time spent at the 2022 World Cup.

Canada sends cease and desist orders

There are reportedly concerns regarding player compensation, working conditions, and sponsorship deals. The ongoing disagreement between the players and Canada Soccer reached a head during the CONCACAF Nations League.

Then, on Tuesday, TSN‘s Rick Westhead reported that the Canadian men’s national team filed a cease and desist letter to Canada Soccer’s sponsors. The squad asked the Federation and its sponsors to stop utilizing players’ photos and likenesses in promotional materials. The Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team Players’ Association issued a comment, which Westhead also included in his report.

“Instead of working toward a solution, given the current state of Canada Soccer, we have been taken to task for raising these concerns and told we have an inflated view of ourselves. Canada Soccer is now also attempting to capitalize on the pressure of the Women’s World Cup to force us into an inadequate deal”, the statement said.

Prize money asked to be split

Prize money won in the 2022 and 2023 World Cups splits between the players and Canada Soccer. Consequently, the Federation keeps between $8.9 and $14.1 million.

The letter also references the departures of former Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis and general secretary Earl Cochrane. It casts doubt on the veracity of Canada Soccer’s prior promises.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Matthias Koch