Tottenham and Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky has insisted that her national team will not back down in the dispute with her own federation.
Canada’s women’s players announced Friday that they are going on strike over funding and governance issues that will jeopardize their ability to perform at this summer’s World Cup.
After talks between the Canadian Soccer Players Association (CSPA) and Canada Soccer took place over the weekend, it was confirmed on Sunday that the strike action had been suspended, but captain Christine Sinclair, who led them to Tokyo 2021 Olympics success, said insisted they were. “forced back to work” due to legal threats.
It means Canada will participate in the SheBelieves Cup this week and begin their campaign against the United States on Thursday, but Spurs captain Zadorsky remained defiant.
“We are on the biggest stage and want to prepare as best we can, so we just ask for equal preparation to perform as well as possible,” said Zadorski.
“Unfortunately, we are in a position where as players we only play in the tournament for our own good and also financial good.
“But we have taken a position and we will not shy away from it. In hindsight, of course, it has to go through certain loopholes to make a good hit, so I think we learned from that.
“Eventually we will play in the tournament and we are still coming strong with our list of demands and that is not going away. Canada Soccer knows there will be more encounters, but we have a list of demands we need so we can be the best this summer and move forward.”
Canada Soccer issued its own statement not long after captain Sinclair’s sentiments, insisting it was determined to “give each of the demands made”, but pointed out that the squad was “not in a legal strike position under labor law of Ontario”.
It meant that the federation was “taking the necessary steps” to ensure that the team played in the SheBelieves Cup.
Zadorsky added: “Nobody expected you to get the reactions that you would be sued as a player by your own federation, so you don’t expect that.
“In hindsight, anything legal has to be well prepared, through lawyers etc. But we are at a stage where I like to play for the Canada association that looks to the future.
“The whole point is to inspire the next generation and leave the program better than where we found it.
“So we are going to fight for it and continue with our demands. We also have the support of the men’s national team, which is very good and we are a top nation, we just want to prepare as best we can.