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  • Talkin' bout a revolution: CSA reform is inevitable


    For a revolution, it didn’t have the most dramatic of starts. A single orange pylon sitting atop a nearly 10-year-old red Honda Civic marked the gathering spot for the participants. There, a 30-something dad from suburban Toronto, handed out t-shirts for $5 a pop to people who introduced themselves by screen names, from a somewhat obscure internet discussion board.

    The message on those t-shirts was direct – Sack the CSA – but the road traveled to get to that day was not. For years the supporters of Canadian soccer fought indifference and isolation in their effort to draw attention to the failings of the sport’s governing body. On rare occasions when a member of the traditional media would respond to their cries, they were told that although they were right – the CSA was most certainly a mess – no one cared. It didn’t involve ice and pucks or a big American league. Therefore, it had no traction.

    Yet things were changing that day, a beautiful September evening in 2007. Toronto FC had shocked everyone by selling out its first MLS season. Its rowdy fans were the talk of the town. Meanwhile, Canada had hosted a very successful U-20 FIFA World Cup, where more fans showed up to watch than had anywhere else in the world. Some were calling it the Summer of Soccer and it felt like the sport had finally broken through to the mainstream.

    For those that had been banging their head against the wall for many years it was an empowering summer. Suddenly there was a feeling that something could be done that went beyond complaining on a discussion board to like minded people. With a Canada friendly scheduled for Toronto a chance to voice their opinion to a national audience was too good to pass up.


    So, the Sack the CSA slogan was thought up, Dino Rossi (the 30-something suburban dad) found a good deal on printing and a revolution was born. Although it would be silly to draw a direct line from a bunch of fans wearing black T-shirts to tomorrow’s CSA reform vote, the momentum that lead to it really started that day. Before, no one cast light on CSA governance issues. Now, not so much.

    That’s why there is no bad result of today’s reform vote (stay with me for a minute). If the CSA membership does the right thing and adopts the reform measures, then we can finally move past the issue and allow the organization to grow into an effective governing body. If things go sideways and they vote with their head firmly planted up their own asses, then all hell is going to break loose.

    Black t-shirts will be the least of the CSA’s worries. They have been exposed for too long now by too many people.

    Reform will happen. It’s only a matter of when.

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