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Swedish women’s hockey players boycott over pay dispute

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Sweden’s women’s hockey team, the only European team to dent the U.S.-Canada dominance in the Olympics, announced Friday it would boycott an upcoming camp ahead of the Five Nations tournament later this month.

All 43 players selected for the camp have agreed to the boycott over a lingering pay issue.

With little professional income, the players who aren’t in college have outside jobs. Until April, the Swedish federation and the players had an agreement to compensate players for lost work income, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported. No new agreement has been reached.

The union also posted a list of grievances that includes complaints over the team’s travel conditions.

The Swedish federation says it was surprised by the move and claims an agreement with professional clubs in the country should cover compensation and insurance, as it does in the men’s game.

All of the players from Sweden’s 2018 Olympic roster play in the country’s domestic league, Yahoo Sports reported.

Sweden has historically been one of the most successful teams outside North America. The team reached four straight Olympic semifinals from 2002 to 2014 and upset the United States in 2006 to become the only team other than the U.S. and Canada to play in an Olympic final and take a silver medal. But this decade has seen less success, and the team was relegated to the second tier of the world championships after failing to reach the quarterfinals in the top tier this year.

The Five Nations Cup also includes Russia, the Czech Republic, Japan and Finland, which lost a controversial final to the United States in this year’s world championship.

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