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Updated: CSA suspends Quebec Soccer Federation

The Canadian Soccer Association announced tonight that the CSA board has moved to immediately suspend the Quebec Soccer Association until it lifts its ban on turbans.

As CSN first reported on Friday, the CSA had given the QSF until Monday to reverse its ban or face punishment.

Neither side responded to requests for comment today and the release came late in the evening.

The CSA did say this in the release though:
“The Canadian Soccer Association has requested on 6 June that the Quebec Soccer Federation reverse its position on turbans/patkas/keski with no resolution,” said Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association, following the Board of Directors meeting. “The Quebec Soccer Federation’s inaction has forced us to take measures in order to ensure soccer remains accessible to the largest number of Canadians.”

According to the release, the suspension will be lifted once the Canadian Soccer Association receives demonstration that the Quebec Soccer Federation has lifted the ban and applies satisfactorily the Canadian Soccer Association’s policy in the matter.

For those looking for meaning in this situation, the following has been gleaned from informed members of the Canadian soccer community.

First, and the CSA did confirm this, this ruling has no impact on the Montreal Impact. They are members of the CSA directly and as such nothing that impacts the province will impact them. Additionally, and this part was not confirmed by the CSA, there are some minor support service issues that QSF occassionally provides to the Impact that could temporarily derail certain game operations but the effect is expected to be minor.

Second, none of the Quebec provincial all-star teams are allowed to compete out of the province. And any other province will be forbidden from playing QSF teams.

Third, if the suspension went on that long, the youth clubs would be forbidden in participating in the national championships this summer.

Fourth, any nationally sanctioned referees are forbidden from calling any games in Quebec. This is the one that could have the most effect and a large number of youth games are immediately in jeoprady - unless referees are willing to go rogue. In the past, refs have faced fines for going against the wishes of the governing body. And any games that were scheduled to be reffed by a CSA badged official are immediately suspended.

Fifth, CSN has learned that Quebec Soccer will meet tomorrow evening to discuss their next step and decide if they're going to continue with the ban on turbans or bend to the will of the CSA.

We will continue to update this story as it develops.