Canada men’s soccer training session scrapped amid compensation talks
A planned training session for Canada’s men’s soccer team was scrapped Friday amid ongoing discussions about player compensation.
Whether a Saturday session will go ahead remains unclear.
The team is in Vancouver ahead of a friendly match against Panama set for Sunday and a CONCACAF Nations League game against Curacao on June 9.
TSN is reporting that players refused to participate in training due to a contract dispute that involves, in part, how much the athletes will get for playing in the World Cup.
A spokesperson for Canada Soccer said Saturday that discussions on player compensation are ongoing.
The association’s president, Nick Bontis, and its interim general secretary were set to land in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon. A Canada Soccer spokesperson said their trip was planned prior to Friday.
The men’s team was scheduled to train on Saturday but it was unclear whether the session would go ahead as planned.
No time to lose
Head coach John Herdman has said that every minute his group spends together is “crucial” as it prepares to compete on the world’s biggest stage in November.
“There isn’t a minute that can be wasted in this moment,” he said in a statement when the team’s roster was released last month.
No. 61 Panama wasn’t initially on the Canadians’ schedule for this window. Canada was set to take on Iran in a friendly on June 5 but the matchup drew heated criticism, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying it “wasn’t a very good idea.”
An Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 8, 2020 shortly after takeoff from Tehran, killing 176 people, including 85 Canadians and permanent residents.
Canada Soccer cancelled the game on May 26 and Panama was named as the replacement opponent on May 31.
After hosting No. 79 Curacao at B.C. Place, Canada is scheduled to travel to San Pedro Sula to take on No. 82 Honduras on June 13.