In case you’ve missed it, the national sports organization of Canada Soccer isn’t always the best at generating positive headlines for itself.
And with the men’s national team looking to clinch a spot in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals with a win or draw against Honduras at Toronto’s BMO Field tonight, the organization is under fire from one of their ex-players for their high ticket prices.
Craig Forrest, a former national team player who has worked in various roles in Canadian soccer media since the early 2000s, expressed his displeasure with the pricing of the tickets for tonight’s game.
Can someone explain to me how young players or families can afford to go watch their heroes?? This is extortion. #CanMNT #CanWNT How the [email protected] do we grow the game? Our stars need to be accessible to everyone. World class players that aren’t here that often. @footy_prime pic.twitter.com/Y6jjhn4VgH
— Craig Forrest (@craigforrest1) March 27, 2023
“Can someone explain to me how young players or families can afford to go watch their heroes?? This is extortion,” Forrest tweeted, with the lowest tickets listed at $145 Canadian each. “How the [email protected] do we grow the game? Our stars need to be accessible to everyone. World-class players that aren’t here that often.”
A native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Forrest made 307 league appearances at the senior level as a goalkeeper with English clubs Ipswich Town, Chelseam, West Ham United, and Colchester United, the majority of which came at the Premier League level. For Canada, he made 56 appearances for the national team and was a member of the 2000 Gold Cup championship side, the most notable trophy won by the men’s national soccer team.
Plenty were quick to echo Forrest’s thoughts.
Grow the game you ass hats!! @CanadaSoccerEN https://t.co/hAVYNPhMUZ
— VanS 🍁 (@Vans_ValourFC) March 28, 2023
Canada Soccer really are just imitating all the worst parts of US Soccer, aren't they? https://t.co/oquHIFByKf
— Gareth 🐺 (@garethlupus) March 28, 2023
Agreed. Make it affordable! Build a fan base! Tone deaf. https://t.co/gkgVLeJCFo
— nick (@navsteets) March 28, 2023
This pricing = “up front” cash grab profits – however – ultimately zero fans in stands longterm. Sports…music… culture should be for ALL. @craigforrest1 is bang on. Even movies (in theatre) have out priced most. Tragic. https://t.co/VXBHWZAN1c
— Jody Vance (@jodyvance) March 28, 2023
Here's the funny thing. As season seat holders for #TFCLive if my family (wife and son) wanted to go to this game, it would cost us just under half of what we paid for the season seats. Insanity. https://t.co/qHXj38mPLE
— L.J.R. (@LoR1975) March 28, 2023
There are a few cheaper tickets currently available on Ticketmaster for the game at press time, starting at a resale price of $88.06 per person, or the four-person “Me+3 offer” at $71.50 each.
Canada is currently ranked 53rd in the FIFA World rankings, while Honduras sits 81st. A win or draw tonight puts Canada into the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals, which will be held at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium on June 15, with the final and third-place match held three days later on June 18.
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