The Canadian Soccer Players' Association, which represents the Canadian women's team, has filed a $40-million lawsuit against 15 current and former board members of Canada Soccer, alleging "negligence and breach of fiduciary duty."

At the heart of the lawsuit is the controversial agreement Canada Soccer signed with Canadian Soccer Business, which gives Canada Soccer's marketing and sponsorship rights over to the CSB in exchange for an annual fee.

The lawsuit alleges the SCS deal "has created and continues to create serious risk to the ability of Canada Soccer to carry out its mandate."

It continues by saying: "In approving the CSB agreement, the 2018 Canada Soccer directors failed to demonstrate prudence, good faith, and any reasonable belief that such approval was in the best interests of Canada Soccer."

Allegations in the statement of claim have not been proved in court.

The lawsuit names the 2018 Canada Soccer board of directors, five of whom are still currently board members.

Those named include current president Charmaine Crooks and former presidents Nick Bontis and Steven Reed.

The statement of claim was filed Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Both the Canadian men's and women's teams are currently negotiating labour agreements with Canada Soccer.

The women’s previous deal expired at the end of 2021. The men are negotiating their first formal agreement in the wake of forming their own players association, the Canada Men’s National Soccer Team Players Association.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.