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The CSA pays the salaries of its players who compete in the professional National Women’s Soccer League, where players are reportedly paid between $ 7,200 and $ 39,700 US per season by the league if they are not allocated by the Canadian or U.S. federation.
The CSA told CBC Sports that the salaries it pays also cover players’ appearances for the women’s national team.
Meanwhile, members of the Canadian men’s national team are paid per appearance, the CSA said, “due to the very different leagues available for male and female players.” In other words, there isn’t as strong a need to subsidize male players with a salary from the CSA because there are many more opportunities for them to land jobs with professional teams.
Last week, in a filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, five of the biggest names in U.S. women’s soccer, including Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo, said they are getting a raw deal compared to players on the less-successful U.S. men’s national team.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Solo said. “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships, and the [U.S. men’s national team] get paid more just to show up than we get paid to win major championships.”
The complaint alleges U.S. Soccer pays players on the women’s team a salary of $ 72,000, along with bonuses, to play in a minimum of 20 matches per year. That’s far less than the men receive, and unlike the men, they are awarded bonuses only if they win those matches.
The complaint also says that the women are paid $ 30,000 each for making the World Cup team, while the men are paid $ 68,750.
The soccer narrative in Canada is similar to that in the States. The Canadian women’s team has enjoyed considerably more success than the men’s — including an Olympic bronze in 2012 and six consecutive World Cup appearances — and features stars like No. 2 all-time goal scorer Christine Sinclair. The men’s team hasn’t appeared in a World Cup in 30 years, and often seems destined to wander in the international soccer wilderness.
“I think that’s the great part of the commitment Canada Soccer [the CSA] has put in place, and not only Canada Soccer but Own The Podium and all the supporting agencies that support athletes here in Canada. I think our athletes are supported well. Look, everyone would like more, no matter who comes to work.
The idea of compensating athletes to represent their countries does not apply to all sports. For example, neither Canada Basketball nor its American counterpart USA Basketball pay players to compete or give bonuses for winning games.
“We don’t pay our players to participate or win,” Canada Basketball CEO Michele O’Keefe told CBC Sports. “They do it because they want to. To be honest, most say playing for us in the summer gives them a better chance to get a good [pro] contract in winter.”?