Stories like this are what make me miss Ben Knight’s reporting.
For whatever you thought of Ben, his work on the CSA reform and shining a light under the boulder of its bureaucracy really was unparalleled. He had a way of framing the debate, or seeing through the fog of opinion, and putting a finer point on issues that were often too complicated for even the keenest observers.
I also think he really took pleasure – even if it was just a little - in taking down those CSA bureaucrats who either stood in the way of moving our game forward or embodied the buffoon behaviour that we have come abhor.
And no behaviour has been more buffoonish than what has come out of the Quebec Soccer Association this week.
In case you missed it, here is the latest.
The Quebec Soccer Association (QSF) has decided that it is, in their words, going to abide by FIFA law and continue to uphold a ban on turbans.
On their teleconference call the QSF claimed that the Sikh headwear were a safety issue but when questioned on how many injuries said headwear had caused in the past, they couldn’t name a single one. The incident has drawn international headlines and today, the Canadian Soccer Association finally responded with some pretty direct threats aimed at the provincial body.
“As an unequivocal majority of our membership agrees with our approach and has safe instituted it within their respective soccer communities, we expect the Quebec Soccer Federation to do the same,” said Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association.
That’s the first step and it re-asserts the CSA’s position on the matter during this firestorm but it doesn’t go far enough.
The QSF president Martial Prudhomme, who is also a member of the CSA board of directors, must immediately step down from his board position. And if he has any desire to spare the QSF any further embarrassment, he should step down from the president’s post as well.
Here is why: