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  • Battle lines drawn in continued fight over LTPD changes


    There are voices within Canadian soccer, specifically at the head of certain provincial soccer associations, who have apparently decided to make take a stand against the CSA and its leadership as it relates to some of the more significant program changes the CSA have announced and implemented over the past two years.

    In an apparent effort to try to wrestle back some degree of control over the national association, a group of disgruntled provincial and territorial presidents have decided to back a somewhat unexpected candidate in the upcoming CSA vice-president election.


    Rob Newman, who ran for the CSA Presidency in 2012, before losing out to Victor Montagliani, has been nominated (by Northwest Territories) to run against VP incumbent Steve Reed of British Columbia. Newman had previously served as one of two Vice Presidents during the Dominique Maestracci era.

    CSN has learned that Newman, who hails from Saskatchewan but currently resides in BC, is unlikely to be supported in his bid for the VP seat by the Saskatchewan Soccer Association, even though he served as President of the SSA before moving up to the CSA Board of Directors.

    Newman’s support comes from a group of unhappy provinces, led by Quebec and their President, Martial Prudhomme, who actively oppose such things as the CSA technical staff’s decision to eliminate the annual provincial all-star tournament. The All Stars tournament was viewed as a sacred cow for several Provincial Associations, especially those who enjoy lucrative provincial government funding tied to their results at such tournaments. However, CSA technical staff had been pushing for years to change it significantly or eliminate it altogether, but with no success.

    Under the old governance model, the cutting of a major (but increasingly ineffective) program like the All Stars Tournament could never have happened. The Provincial Presidents, who until May 2012 were all guaranteed a spot and a vote at the Board Table, would never have approved a proposal that many provinces would have perceived as negatively impacting programs back home. Under the old system, the best interests of the National Governing Body were routinely ignored, deferred and generally given short shrift. This is why CSN so strongly supported the new Governance model and the new era of positive change that it promised and, mostly, has delivered.

    Change was never going to be easy but the CSA Board of Directors is now, largely, made up of the exact types of people we wanted to see steering the CSA ship. It is now, more than ever, truly a skill set board populated by highly accomplished professionals from various industries. On the surface, Newman would fit right in. He’s had a fairly successful professional career and has a significant amateur soccer governance experience.

    Nonetheless, when a candidate with a fairly strong CV is not being supported by his home province but he is being encouraged (mostly behind the scenes, according to sources close to the CSA) by the same guy who supported regressive policies such as the the ban on Sikh players wearing turbans (although Newman is not on record of opposing the use of religious headgear), one is left to ask question about possible hidden (or not so hidden) agendas as they relate to the all-star tournaments.

    Our sources close to the CSA indicated that senior officials in the association (both on the Board and staff) are concerned that, if victorious at the May AGM, Newman will simply be a puppet for those provinces who would support the reversal of some of the biggest program changes which the current CSA leadership view as vital to moving the organization in a more positive direction.

    CSN will continue to follow this story.

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