Canada Football Chief Resigns Amid Gender Equity Issues

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The 53-year-old Bontis acknowledged in a statement that "change is required" in order to achieve an agreement with the Canadian men's and women's team.

Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis stepped down from his position on Monday amid frustration among women players in the football association over pay equity with their male colleagues.

Bontis has been in charge of the sport's governing body in Canada since his election in November of 2020, when he was chosen to succeed Steven Reed.

His resignation comes at a time when Canada's men's and women's national teams are set to sign a collective bargaining agreement which could set up an equitable sharing of resources between the sides.

Nick Bontis said in a statement that while there was "real potential" of agreeing a collective bargaining agreement for Canada's men's and women's teams, it was time for him to go.

"While I have been one of the biggest proponents of equalizing the competitive performance environment for our Women's National Team, I will unfortunately not be leading this organization when it happens," Bontis wrote in a statement.

"I acknowledge that this moment requires change.

"Today, I have submitted my resignation, effective immediately, to Canada Soccer's Board of Directors."

The Canadian women, the reigning Olympic champions, had vowed to go on strike over pay, funding and contractual issues.

The women eventually called off the strike threat after being informed that boycotting the friendly tournament would be unlawful and trigger legal action.

The women had hit out at Canada Soccer after claiming they received no pay in 2022.

The Canadian women also slammed budget cuts that they argued had compromised the team's preparations for the 2023 Women's World Cup, contrasting it to the resources made available to the Canadian men's team before their appearance at the 2022 World Cup.

"All we're asking for is to be given equal opportunity to our men's team to get ready for our World Cup," Canada forward Janine Beckie said earlier this month.

Canada's men's team have also backed the women, saying in a statement on February 10 they "wholeheartedly support" the squad.