Canada captain Christine Sinclair says the national women’s team will go on strike over pay equity concerns and a lack of funding that they believe will compromise their performances.

The players released a joint statement on Friday condemning Canada Soccer’s “continued inability to support its national teams”.

They are set to face the United States in the SheBelieves Cup on 17 February.

“As a team we have decided to take job action,” Sinclair told broadcaster TSN.

“From this moment on we will not be participating in any [Canada Soccer] activities until this is resolved – whether that’s training, whether that’s games.

“That’s very hard to say as an athlete who wants to compete and represent Canada, but enough is enough.”

The next Women’s World Cup takes place from 20 July to 20 August in Australia and New Zealand.

Canada are sixth in the world rankings and won Olympic gold in 2021.

In a statement released by the Canadian Soccer Players’ Association (CSPA), players said they are “outraged and deeply concerned” by reporting funding cuts at the national body.

“We are demanding immediate change,” the statement read.

“We expect and deserve nothing less than to be treated equally and fairly and to have our program – and our World Cup preparations – funded appropriately.

“We are left feeling frustrated and, once again, deeply disrespected by Canada Soccer.”

The statement has been supported by the men’s team, who went on strike last year in a dispute over World Cup prize money.

Forward Janine Beckie, speaking alongside Sinclair after the statement’s release, said the team would not play the SheBelieves match if the issues were not resolved.

“This is the men and women’s team together taking action against a federation which has mistreated us for far too long, and we have been far too nice for far too long,” she said.

“At this point we will not be training, we will not be attending meetings. Any scheduled activity with the national team in the near future, we will not take part in.”

Canada Soccer said it would meet the women’s team players on Saturday for further talks, insisting it has a “proven track record” of supporting the women’s game.

Source: BBC