Jump to content
  • CONCACAF says no (and who they might say no to next)

    Duane Rollins

    The Ottawa Fury appear to have lost the game of chicken that they were playing against CONCACAF and the CSA. Yesterday, the club announced that they would not be allowed to play in the US-based USL for 2019. This is despite receiving a tepid approval from the CSA in September, when they refused to become founding members of the CanPL.

    This leaves the Fury in a difficult position just four months out from the start of the season. However, according to multiple people working inside the game, they shouldn’t be surprised.

    “They knew this was possible,” one source said. “Yet, they went ahead anyway and now they are crying about being discriminated.”

    Another person went even further, suggesting that the Fury might have “half wanted (to be denied sanctioning).” The suggestion being that OSEG doesn’t really want to be involved in soccer anymore, but didn’t want to be the bad guy in fans’ eyes, least it hurt them with RedBlacks’ ticket sales.

    What happened yesterday was predicted by many. In a Sept 6 article on CSN I quoted a source suggesting that this was a distinct possibility.

    “Who is going to sanction them,” they said at the time “They may get a ‘pity’ sanction for 2019, but beyond that?”

    Another person speculated that the CSA would be reluctant to directly challenge the Fury, but would work behind closed doors to challenge the legitimacy of the club playing in a US-based league.

    “They won’t say anything publicly, but they are hoping CONCACAF steps in,” they said at the time.

    We don’t know if CONCACAF is acting on behalf of the CSA, but CONCACAF did in fact step in.

    The question now is what happens next. Most still believe a temporary sanctioning for 2019 will come through, but only with the understanding that this will be the final year it is permitted. Will the Fury continue with that understanding? For the sake of the fans, let’s hope so. But, relations between the CanPL and the Fury weren’t great already and, although there is no direct link between the CanPL and CONCACAF denying sanctioning, yesterday didn’t help the relationship improve.

    Beyond the Fury, yesterday’s decision could have a trickle down impact on Canadian soccer. If CONCACAF is to enforce the policy evenly, you would have to think that USL-2 teams (formerly PDL) will be the next to be targeted.  The rule being referenced in the Fury’s case states that no team is allowed to play in a league outside its country if a league of the same standard is available in their country. Clearly, CONCACAF has concluded that CanPL is equal to USL.

    But, is League1 Ontario and the PLSQ the same as USL2?

    It’s long been the desire of the CSA to stop teams at the D3 level from playing out of country in the hope that the provinces would step up and start D3 leagues. So far only two have, which has allowed several D3 teams to ignore that desire and play in the US.

    With the CanPL buying L1O, there is speculation that the plan is to bring that model to all parts of the country. When that happens, you would expect that the existing D3 teams be asked to return to Canada. Anyone operating a D3 team now would be wise to plan ahead with this in mind.

    Which brings us to the MLS teams. Many fans will not accept the rational that they should be exempt from this. In the interest of “fairness” it will be argued that they too should be forced to join CanPL.

    It won’t happen, but it will create some bad optics for the CSA. The reason it won’t happen now is because it’s clear that forcing TFC, IMFC and VWFC out of MLS would be negative for player development and soccer culture in the country. That would be counter to the entire purpose of creating the CanPL.

    Although many USL fans strongly disagree, that league is not viewed as having a net benefit to the country and thus is fair game here.   

    Will this eventually change? Is there a scenario where the three MLS teams are required to enter the CanPL.

    Yes. And possibly sooner than most believe.

    (That is if one or more of the Canadian MLS teams isn’t part of a bigger league by then – a league that is launched as part of the United 2026 bid and is designed to disrupt the established order of world football. But, that’s a topic for another day).   

    Edited by Duane Rollins


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Posts

    • I sure am pleased Forge are out of this bubble, the injuries piled up with a couple of more last night, to play twice a week on plastic in this heat after no pre-season was brutal and Forge's depth is certainly being put to the test, I hope Forge have some starters back and can field a good side Aug 4th in the Concacaf Lg match! Kudos to Novak for showing class without over celebrating the goal vs his previous employer and Klomp seems like quite a find for Cavalry, he was dominant! 
    • We started with 20 outfield players...Davies, Larin and Ayo are out injured. That leaves 17.  Sturing and Paton, who just started training with the squad, have not played yet. Theo and Pasher have barely played...so 13 players  left. That leaves 2 players on the bench  who have had decent minutes  (Piette or Kaye and Henry or Miller if Johnston starts at RCB).  Unless Paton really impresses in training, I cannot see him thrown in vs CR.   We would be crazy to not call in Tesho and one of Guti/ZBG
    • Edit: deleted to avoid more senseless covid discussion, even though it wasn’t really controversial.
    • Good point.  There is a difference there.  Wasn't sure what the plan was going to be as the travel ban is in effect until the second week of Sept.
    • In this era of "citizen journalists" - to be very generous - I would not count on it being a coincidence.  How were you lucky enough to end up watching mid-table obscure Palace and relegated Sheffield United?    Generally League 1 is not outside the realm of a good move.  He played in the Professional Development League (as they don't have a Category 1 Academy).  His team was good, topped their division (regionally divided) and he was third top scorer on his team and tied for 10th in the league.  The u23s from the Premier League 2 (up a level) play against League 1 and 2 teams in the Cup and often get beat.    That's said his new manager is saying all the right things: https://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-united/sheffield-united-talks-are-arranged-to-decide-the-next-phase-of-these-young-players-careers-3306293 I don’t care about ‘young’ or ‘old’. I play 16 and 26 (year-olds),” Jokanovic said. “I don’t treat them like kids. I treat them like adults. I treat them all exactly the same. “I started working with them last week. Because of various things that have been going on, such as people being away (on European Championship duty), I was working with 12 players so we brought in 10 from the under-23’s to join in.” “What I am bothered about is personality and ability of course, not age,” he continued. “Personality, for me, is really important.”
    • It depends on the nature of the request, no? If we are requesting because our government refuses to let us have fans, then tough titty for us. If our government doesn't allow the game to be played in Canada, then another venue must be found because the game needs to happen. In that case I expect the request to be granted by FIFA. 
    • It's not perplexing though for his age. At 18 League One is a really good level. Grealish and Kane played League One at 18 and 17. 
    • Covid issues exist everywhere. What probably makes Canada "safer" is the ease to which we can control the environment for the players. That is probably easiest in Canada, our own country, but it's likely easier in the United States than El Salvador, considering our experience playing and hosting camps there, along with the obvious similarities with our own country, how things typically work, etc. 
    • At this point it's safer for our players to be in Canada
    • I would say the Covid issues would still exist while playing in Murica
  • Create New...