On Saturday, representatives of Canada Soccer met with representatives of the Canadian Soccer Players Association, the union that represents Canada’s Women’s National Team Players, in Orlando for a previously-scheduled, in-person meeting. The meeting had two purposes: first, to respond, specifically, to the demands made by the CSPA on Thursday evening of this week; and second, to continue the collective bargaining in which the two sides have been engaged for over a year now.

Canada Soccer has heard the Women’s National Team Players and has committed to a path to addressing each of the demands made by the players. But Canada Soccer knows that is not enough. There is still work to do.

Canada Soccer has committed to negotiating a comprehensive collective agreement with both of the player associations of the Women’s and Men’s National Teams. That agreement, once concluded, will be an historic deal that will deliver real change and pay equity in Canada Soccer. It is a goal worth getting right.

Canada Soccer has also seen the comments from the CSPA about ‘forcing’ the players back to work. Canada Soccer respects the players’ right to organise. The players, while having taken job action, were not and are not in a legal strike position under Ontario labour law. Canada Soccer was not prepared to jeopardize the SheBelieves Cup tournament, the preparation it would afford the Women’s National Team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, nor the experience it would afford countless fans who had undoubtedly traveled to Orlando to see their National Team heroes. Canada Soccer therefore took the necessary steps to ensure that such games will be played as scheduled. Canada Soccer is heartened that the Women’s National Team Players will play as it committed.