VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The World Cup-bound Canadian national team returned from its protest over stalled labor negotiations to beat Curacao 4-0 on Thursday night in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Alphonso Davies converted a penalty kick in the 27th minute and added an left-footed goal in the 71st. Steven Vitoria and Lucas Cavallini also scored.
The match marked Davies’ return to the national team after he was diagnosed with heart inflammation following COVID-19. Davies, who plays for Bayern Munich, did not play in Canada’s final two World Cup qualifying windows.
Canada's players refused to play an exhibition against Panama on Sunday, issuing a public letter decrying the contract talks with Canada Soccer and listing a number of demands. Players also refused to practice last Friday and Saturday.
But both sides met Sunday night, and the players agreed to return as the team prepares for its first World Cup appearance since 1986.
The players are asking for 40% of World Cup prize money, a travel package for friends and relatives and an “equitable structure with our women’s national team that shares the same player match fees, percentage of prize money earned at our respective FIFA World Cups and the development of a women’s domestic league.”
The players also want transparency with Canadian Soccer Business, which signed an agreement with the federation in 2018 to oversee media rights, sponsorship deals and other commercial assets.
Canada Soccer says the team's proposal is untenable.
Canada is set to visit Honduras on June 13 in CONCACAF Nations League play. Ranked No. 38 by FIFA, Canada opens the World Cup in Qatar against second-ranked Belgium on Nov. 23, plays No. 16 Croatia four days later and then faces No. 24 Morocco on Dec. 1.
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The Associated Press