Nick Bontis, president of Canada Soccer, announced his resignation on Monday after tensions between the governing body and its Women’s National Team escalated earlier this month. This move comes after 13 provincial and territorial members of Canada Soccer sent Bontis a letter demanding his resignation, as reported by TSN’s Rick Westhead.
Bontis, who was elected as president in 2020, said his resignation is effective immediately.
“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 said in his statement. "I acknowledge that this moment requires change.”
After a labour dispute over budget cuts, the women's team threatened to strike but instead played in the SheBelieves Cup under protest after the threat of legal action. These games were supposed to be in preparation for the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia this summer. However, they were sidetracked due to the lack of resources devoted to the women’s team’s training camps as well as their reduction in attendance and frequency due to unilateral budget cuts.
Bontis and Canada Soccer also recently butted heads with the men's team over a contractual dispute. Just months before they were to leave for Qatar and play in their first World Cup since 1986, Canada refused to play a friendly against Panama and nearly forfeited their second Nations League match against Honduras due to the pay dispute.
Despite having left Canada Soccer, Bontis will still have an important role as a global representative of the game. On Saturday, Canadian Victor Montagliani was re-elected as president of CONCACAF after running unopposed and Bontis will be the North American Vice-President of the CONCACAF Council.
No statement has been released by the players of the men’s or women’s national team as of this writing.