Thursday, December 01, 2022

With players still striking Canada Soccer president has gone home: report | offside

With his union in crisis, Canadian Soccer president Nick Bontis has gone home.


TSN’s Rick Westhead is reporting that Canada Soccer believes it has “made progress” in contract negotiations with players for the men’s national team. This sounds like good news, and hopefully players will agree.

Bontis should feel quite confident as he is already on his way back to his home in Ontario. He left Vancouver on Monday morning, according to Westhead.

This is a surprising phenomenon considering the events of the last 24 hours.

After refusing to train on Friday and Saturday, the Canada men’s national football team refused to play in Sunday’s match against Panama at BC Place.

In an open letter, the players said they had been “insulted” by Canada Soccer, expressing frustration about the officials negotiating with them. The players said they had not received an offer as of Thursday and that Bontis and interim secretary general Earl Cochran did not make themselves available to meet until 24 hours before Sunday’s match.

Bontis and Cochrane held a media conference on Sunday evening, where Bontis spoke mostly. Ironically, among the things he expressed was the importance of face-to-face communication.

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“We need to have a face-to-face conversation,” Bontis told reporters. “Earl and I arrived here specifically to communicate face-to-face, to attend this window, to have a board meeting … We have Earl’s phone and my phone, ready and available to respond. Anybody Time. I’m telling you, we’ll leave this room immediately, go to the same hotel where the players are staying – so that we’re ready to sit down and [negotiate],

Players questioned the 2018 agreement that Canada Soccer signed with Canadian Soccer Business, which players say “compromised their ability to take advantage of the on-field success of our senior national teams.”

“Where’s the progress? Where’s the money?”

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In response, Bontis stated that Canada cannot afford to meet the demands of soccer players.

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“I cannot accept an offer that would put our organization in a financial position that is untenable,” Bontis said. “And what I have to do is explain to the players what we have, what our financial position is and how we can move forward.”

Hopefully a deal can be reached between the officials and the players for the sake of everyone involved. The last 24 hours have resulted in a national embarrassment, which was supposed to be a festive and money-making week, as well as an important one to help the Canada men’s national team prepare for their first FIFA World Cup in 36 years. There was a window.

Canada is scheduled to play Curacao on Thursday at BC Place.

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