The World Cup in Qatar is approaching. At the same time, pressure is mounting on Canada Soccer to reach a compensation agreement with the men’s national team.
Posted at 2:48 p.m.
There’s a lot to negotiate, against the backdrop of a first appearance at this showcase in 36 years, and with a home World Cup on the horizon in 2026.
Part of the negotiations could go beyond the start of the November tournament, said Toronto FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, a member of the men’s national team leadership group.
“A collective agreement is not to be drawn up lightly. I’m sure there are some games that will be settled before the World Cup starts, Kaye said first.
“The important things like the compensation for the World Cup, the family and friends package (to attend the tournament). Things like this need to be dealt with before the competition.
“About other aspects, we can continue to move in the right direction (after the World Cup), to find common ground. »
Ranked 43e in the world by FIFA, the men’s team will start the World Cup on November 23 against number 2 Belgium.
In early June, the men boycotted a scheduled friendly with Panama in Vancouver over compensation.
The men have since formed a players association to help their cause.
“We knew we needed it to give players a bit more protection, in all aspects,” Kaye explained. Especially when it comes to negotiating with Canada Soccer.
“It’s also about licensing and group rights and just fostering an environment where players are fully protected, on and off the pitch.
“Players’ associations have grown enormously in sport. We felt like it was high time we had one, considering everything that’s going on.
“It’s definitely a positive step forward. We have legal advisors, which makes the process a little smoother. »
This is the law firm Aird & Berlis.
One thing that needs to be addressed is to improve the travel arrangements for the women’s team as the conditions are not up to par with those for the men.
The men’s association is made up of 51 players who have been called up to a Canadian national team camp since January 2021. There are five player representatives and one junior representative.
When it comes to the World Cup, players negotiate their share of the FIFA purse. It should be at least $10 million for Canada, including a package to help bring their friends and family to Qatar.
Sponsorship and image rights revenue is also a key part of the negotiations, especially as Canada hosts the 2026 tournament with the United States and Mexico.
During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA provided a total of $791m to the 32 teams, up 40% from the 2014 tournament.
Of this amount, $400 million was paid out in purses, ranging from $38 million to the winning country, $28 million to the other nation in the final and $24 million to the third-place club.
Each of the teams eliminated in the group stage received 8 million.
Each qualifying country also received $1.5m for preparation costs, meaning all participating teams were guaranteed at least $9.5m.