Canada Shelina Zadorsky says team is 'not going to back down'

Tottenham women’s captain and Canada international Shelina Zadorsky says her team is ‘not going to back down’ after giving up a strike when threatened with a lawsuit by Canada Soccer

  • Canada announced they were going on strike late Friday afternoon in Orlando 
  • The team has since returned after Canada Soccer threatened legal action 
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Tottenham captain Shelina Zadorsky insists the Canadian national team players will not back down from their demands for better financial support and working conditions despite being forced to cancel strike action.

Players announced they were going on strike on Saturday due to significant budget cuts ahead of this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

But the strike was cancelled after players claimed Canada Soccer had threatened to take legal action, with the squad due to play in the SheBelieves Cup this week.

‘No one expected to get the responses that you’re going to be sued as a player by your own federation,’ Zadorsky said.

‘Unfortunately we’re in a [position] where just for our own wellbeing and also financial wellbeing we as players are playing in the tournament.

Tottenham captain Shelina Zadorsky and Canada are not done fighting Canada Soccer

The reigning Olympic gold medalists called off a strike after the CSA threatened legal action

‘But we’ve taken a stand and we’re not going to back down from that. Obviously in hindsight to make a proper strike it needs to go through certain loopholes so I think we’ve learnt from that.

‘Ultimately we’ll be playing in the tournament and we’re still coming strong with our list of demands, and that’s not going away. Canada Soccer knows there will be more meetings but we have a list of demands we need so we can be the best this summer and moving forward.’

A statement released through the Canadian Soccer Players Association said the team have been forced to cut ‘full camp windows, cut the number of players and staff invited into camps, significantly limit the already limited youth team’s activities, all while we continue to face immense uncertainty about compensation.’

Canada won Olympic Gold at the Tokyo Games in 2021 and women’s football has seen huge growth since.

Zadorsky said the team took ‘a stand and we’re not going to back down from that’

A strike was announced by Canada captain Christine Sinclair (R) from Orlando on Friday

‘I love playing for Canada, it’s my pride and joy and I’m proud to do so, but I want to play for an association that is looking to the future.

‘The whole point is to inspire the next generation and leave the programme better than where we found it. So we’re going to fight for that and keep going with our demands.

‘We also have the men’s national team’s support which is really good and we’re a top nation, we just want to prepare the way we can.’

Zadorsky added that players want assurances ahead of this summer that they will be given the same amount of support and backing the men’s team had before they played in last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

‘What we want as a national team, we’re on the biggest stage and want to prepare the best we possibly can.

‘We’re just asking for equal preparation to perform the best we can. We want a sustainable future for our youth programmes and both the senior national teams.’

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