Swedish hockey players boycott training, tournament over pay

August 15, 2019 - 7:55 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The leading female hockey players in Sweden are refusing to attend a training camp or play in an upcoming international tournament in Finland over a pay dispute with the country's federation. The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation says it has been informed of the boycott and is "surprised" at the decision.

A total of 43 players are involved in the boycott, which is seemingly about the lack of compensation they receive while on duty with the national team. They were scheduled to attend a five-day training camp starting Thursday outside Stockholm, ahead of the Five Nations Tournament beginning Tuesday.

A statement has been posted on social media by Sweden player Erika Grahm, saying the action is being taken to "develop and create better conditions" in the national team to show "encouragement and respect" for current and future generations. It says the players' demands are not "unreasonable."

The federation says it gives no compensation to players in the women's or men's national team, and that it comes through financial agreements between the leagues and the top clubs.

The federation says the agreement, which was renewed for the 2019-20 season, uses the "same model that applied to men's hockey for many years."

Calls to board members of the federation went unanswered Thursday.

Sweden, traditionally one of the world's best teams, failed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the world championship in Finland in April after losing three of its four group matches.

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