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Head Of Canada Soccer Forced Out Following Player Protests, No-Confidence Letter

Nick Bontis
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis resigned on Monday following a standoff with Canada women's national soccer team over pay inequity and budget cuts earlier this month. Bontis's resignation, as TSN reported, was requested by the presidents of Canada’s regional soccer federations, a group known collectively as the Presidents' Forum.

"Canada Soccer and both of our National Team Programs have the real potential to sign a historic collective bargaining agreement," Bontis, who has been president since 2020, said in a statement published by Canada Soccer. "I will unfortunately not be leading this organization when it happens. I acknowledge that this moment requires change."

TSN reported that the no-confidence letter from the Presidents' Forum, signed by the group's chair, Kevin Topolniski, said:

With the unanimous support of all members of the Presidents’ Forum, I am requesting your resignation as president of Canada Soccer effective immediately. The Presidents’ Forum, representing the member associations of Canada Soccer, is requesting your resignation due to non-confidence in your leadership of Canada Soccer.

Kevin Topolniski via TSN

Canada Soccer has been embroiled in a dispute over its budget and player salaries since last year, when the men's players went on strike in the leadup to the World Cup and refused to play in a friendly against Panama. The players cited a lack of transparency around how Canada Soccer would divvy up the $10 million bonus that Canada had earned for the men's team qualifying for the World Cup. The women's team threatened to go on strike ahead of the SheBelieves Cup, but Canada Soccer threatened to sue the players if they didn't take the field. The women's team competed in the tournament under protest, and with the support of their opponents and fellow players.

According to TSN: "Players on both national teams have demanded an audit of Canada Soccer’s finances and a review of its media and sponsor contract with a private company called Canada Soccer Business, which is owned and operated by Canadian Premier League team owners."

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