The Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team will be playing under protest when the SheBelieves Cup opens up on Feb. 16. The team went on strike for a short-period of time last week after budget cuts dissolved the limited resources the group had access to prior to their protest.

“To be clear,” wrote captain Christine Sinclair. “We are being forced back to work for the short term. This is not over. We will continue to fight for everything we deserve and we will win. The SheBelieves is being played in protest.”

According to the Canadian Soccer Players Association, after meeting with Canada Soccer for hours, it was told legal action would be taken against the players if they decided not to play in the Cup. Canada Soccer claims they would be conducting an “unlawful strike.” Citing the financial struggles from before they threatened to protest, the CANWNT decided to compete in the Cup.

The CANWNT released a statement that detailed their concerns to the public.

“As individuals who have received no compensation yet for any of our work for Canada Soccer in 2022, we cannot afford the risks that personal action against us by Canada Soccer will create,” the statement read. “Because of this, we have advised Canada Soccer that we will return to training tomorrow and will play in the SheBelieves Cup as scheduled.

“We continue to believe that Canada Soccer’s cuts to the national team programs– espeically right before our World Cup – are unacceptable.”

Canada Soccer said in a statement the players “were not and are not in a legal strike position under Ontario labour law.”

“Canada Soccer therefore took the necessary steps to ensure that such games will be played as scheduled,” they said.

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