The Canadian women’s soccer team arrived at Exploria Stadium wearing purple, a colour associated with gender equality, for its opening game against the U.S. at the SheBelieves Cup on Thursday.
Forward Jordyn Huitema led the team in with all the players wearing the same purple T-shirt. The women, currently embroiled in a labour dispute with their governing body, taped over the Canada Soccer logo on their backpacks.
They walked out before the game wearing purple T-shirts etched with the words “Enough is Enough” and kept them on for the anthems, maintaining the purple theme during the game via tape on their wrists.
As they did at practice Wednesday, the women wore their warmups tops inside-out to hide the Canada Soccer crest as they warmed up before the game.
Before kickoff, both teams gathered at the centre circle — Americans next to Canadians — and then closed ranks turning the circle into a heart shape in a show of solidarity.
Veteran midfielder Sophie Schmidt explained the fashion statement on Wednesday, saying the crest normally sits on the side of the heart. She said while the players are proud and honoured to represent Canada, they believe their federation has let them down.
— CanadianSoccerPlayers (@PlayersCanadian) February 16, 2023
The Canadian women are demanding the same backing and preparation ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as the men did before their soccer showcase in Qatar last year. Both the men’s and women’s teams want Canada Soccer to open its books and explain funding cuts to both programs this year.
According to the International Women’s Day website, purple, green and white are the colours of International Women’s Day. Purple signifies “justice and dignity, and being loyal to the cause.”
The colours originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the United Kingdom in 1908.
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2023.