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Canadian Women’s Soccer Protests Against Budget Cuts

On February 15, 2023, the Canadian Women’s Soccer team took to protest the unfair budget cuts the group had received by wearing their practice jerseys inside-out. Hence, the Canada Soccer logo was not visible.  The team is feeling frustrated and decided to take matters into their own hands for their voices to be heard; team captain Janine Beckie states, “I think we’ve made it pretty clear that we’re operating under a protest at the minute, so we decided as a team that we were going to do this and show our solidarity together, and this is one of the ways that we decided to do that.”  By showing this solidarity, their voices are being heard worldwide, and the team can get people on their side to fight for them. 

The Canadian Soccer Federation has significantly cut the funding for the women’s team, which caused outrage among many people.  The Canadian Women’s Soccer team responded with a letter posted on several social media sites.  A statement from this letter mentions, “while we continue our preparations for the World Cup without new budget reality, we’ve had to cut not only training camp days but full camp windows, cut the number of players and staff invited into camps, significantly limit the already limited youth teams’ activities, all while we continue to face immense uncertainty about compensation.”  The Canadian Women’s Soccer team now heads into World Cup territory without the support the men’s soccer team had, in addition to being unable to practice correctly.  The consequence of the budget cuts will show its effects on the team’s performance, and thus, the team will continue to get less and less support from fans. 

The letter also states, “this lack of support threatens to reverse the progress we’ve made as a soccer nation and to send us back to obscurity.  For our team to remain a force on the world stage, we need a federation that operates and supports us at the level we are expected to deliver—world-class.”  The funds needed for this team to continue to succeed necessary, and the Women’s Nation Soccer Team is demanding change.  There is no excuse for this treatment of a national team, and many other women’s sports teams have had to fight to receive adequate and equal funding.

This protest has even reached the ears of American soccer stars like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan; Rapinoe went as far as to say, “It’s sort of bitter rivals on the field, but you know, even bigger allies off, so we’re with them 100 percent.”  Despite this attention, the strike had to be canceled after Canada Soccer threatened each player with legal action.  These budget cuts against the team have caused them to have a smaller staff and less training camps, which significantly affect this team.  However, the players are still fighting for their rights and how to get the funding that they deserve.

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