Stand on guard
As our national teams ascend to new heights, our soccer federation cuts off funding to spite its own face
As we enter an international window in women’s football, the Canadian women’s national team has initiated a work stoppage, citing a number of financial issues brought on by the Canadian Soccer Association. Two years after winning Olympic gold, and six months away from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the team revealed that the CSA is cutting funding to the women’s program — not just the senior team, but the whole program down to girls’ grassroots clubs. Unsurprisingly, the money spent on the women’s program is a far cry from that of their male counterparts.
Again, this isn’t about wanting to be paid the same. National team stalwart Jessie Fleming summarized it succinctly. The long and the short of it is that the CSA brought in some money, that money was earmarked for women’s programs, but the money wasn’t spent on women’s programs (and it’s still unknown how the money was spent).
The budget for the men’s program was increased in 2021 in order to support their historic World Cup qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022. Why is the opposite happening for the women’s team, who have qualified for eight consecutive World Cup tournaments? How do you adequately prepare for a World Cup tournament when your national association only allows you to send 20 players to camp (not enough for full 11-on-11 training), and doesn’t arrange any friendlies to take place in Canada in the months leading up to the World Cup?
The job action has been countered by the CSA in typical establishmentarian fashion: use the cudgel of legal action to force the team back to work, knowing that individual players won’t have the resources to fight this in court.
It should be noted that the women’s team has not been compensated for any of its 2022 national team activities, which has included qualifying for the World Cup. So, the CSA cuts funding, ostensibly because the money is not there. But there’s money to sue individual players to force them back to work? Make it make sense.
I can say confidently that at least 199 times out of 200, we at Oddball are going to side with labour. But beyond the job action, the CSA’s legal posturing is a smokescreen for what appears to be a much bigger issue around governance and differential treatment. This might have been condoned when Canada was perhaps considered a minnow in the footballing world, but given the recent successes of both senior teams, there is no excuse.
With a victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid became just the third head coach to win a Super Bowl against a club where they were previously employed as a head coach. The first time it happened, Weeb Ewbank coached the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III over his old club, the Colts. Who was the only other head coach to do this?
The player with the single-season goal-scoring record for the Flyers is also ranked second all-time in the NHL for goals scored by an indigenous player. What’s his name?
A multiple All-Star pitcher has racked up 100+ saves for the Phillies and for another team. He’s the career saves leader for both teams. Who is he?
Two point guards were drafted out of St. Joseph’s in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft, four picks apart. They narrowly missed facing each other in the Eastern Conference finals several years later, as one of them was injured for that round. Who are the guards?
Answers from last week’s issue
The 2003 NBA Entry Draft is memorable for its first overall pick, LeBron James, its second overall pick, the bust that was Darko Miličić, and the 3-5 picks: Carmelo Anthony (3), Chris Bosh (4), and Dwyane Wade (5). Aside from James, Anthony, Bosh, and Wade, five other picks from this draft class made at least one All-Star team. Name at least three of them.
The other All-Stars from the 2003 draft class are Chris Kaman (6th overall), David West (18th), Josh Howard (29th), Mo Williams (47th), Kyle Korver (51st).
Aside from LeBron James, who was Cleveland’s other pick in the 2003 NBA Entry Draft?
In 2003, two-time Three-Point Champion Jason Kapono was the first overall pick — of the second round.
Besides LeBron James, seven other active players have scored 20,000+ career points. Name at least five of them.
Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, and DeMar DeRozan are the droids we’re looking for.
What three-time NBA champion is the only member of the Lakers’ all-time top ten scorers not in the Hall of Fame?
Showtime Lakers shooting guard Byron Scott ranks ninth all-time in Lakers scoring.
Many thanks to Claude Giroux for being named his name and to you for being named your name, unless your name is Greg Heiar because thou shalt not bring shame upon Pascal Siakam’s alma mater (and three consecutive vowels is a bit much).
Until next week, be the Ezequiel Carrera you wish to see in the world.