Canada is one step closer to defending its title at the World Lacrosse Championships this July.
After months of stalled talks between the Canadian Lacrosse Association and national lacrosse players, the two sides have reached a tentative agreement.
The National Lacrosse Team Players’ Association lawyer, Richard Furlong, tells Global News the NLTPA was requested to take part in mediation with the CLA.
The two sides, as requested by the sport’s international governing body, the Federation of International Lacrosse, met June 8-9 and reached a tentative deal during the talks.
Furlong says another long discussion took place Monday evening to “hammer out details further.”
The CLA will take the deal to its board of directors while the NLTPA will discuss what’s on the table with the players involved.
Furlong would not discuss details of the tentative agreement, but tells Global News the players will not be voting on whether or not they go to Israel next month.
“Players will hear all viewpoints, go over the agreement and will vote on Thursday and Friday by sending in acceptance of agreement or rejection of it,” he said. “If the agreement is accepted the players will be going to Israel.”
In a statement on its website, FIL President Sue Redfern says this is exciting to see for the lacrosse community.
“This agreement is extremely important for the continued growth and recognition of Lacrosse throughout the world as we build our presence for inclusion in a future Olympic Games.”
The World Championships begin July 12 in Netanya, Israel, and Canada has played in every championship since 1967.
Furlong, who just two weeks ago was not optimistic a deal would be reached, says this isn’t a short-term endeavor for the player’s association.
“The NLTPA is going to be a vibrant force going forward, so what just happened in respect to the men’s senior team and the tournament in Israel this summer can be repeated for other teams and other tournaments. We believe we’ve protected that in the agreement.”
In an email response to Global News, the CLA said it won’t be speaking to the media until discussions with the NLTPA are complete.
The CLA’s official spokesperson and director of administration, Chuck Miller, previously told Global News that he was working towards a positive outcome with the NLPTA.
Global News first reported on this on-going labour dispute between the CLA and NLTPA in April.
Players on the senior men’s field team told Global they would not participate in the World Championships this summer without a player agreement for all five national lacrosse teams, which include Canadian men and women.
The players said they are looking for better health insurance, removal of participation fees and for the CLA to take steps to re-establish its status as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.