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  • The fight for the Presidency: An early look at the battle to lead the CSA


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    The battle to replace Dominic Maestracci as the next president of the Canadian Soccer Association is heating up as Canadian soccer officials contemplate just how far down the reform road they want to go. Although it won’t be as confusing as the Alberta situation, as exciting as the reform vote or get as much attention as your average friendly, it is likely the most important decision the federation has faced in its recent history.

    The job has some obvious perks. Not the least of which is the fact that the winner of the post will be Canada’s top football man during the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

    Although there is always a chance that an outsider candidate could emerge, CSN has learned that the race is likely a two-way battle between Ontario Soccer Association president Ron Smale and current CSA VP Victor Montagliani.

    [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

    Both men will be viewed with suspicion by certain fractions of this fractured community. Smale makes the establishment uncomfortable and Montagliani is viewed as too close to the past by the growing reform movement.

    Fans, however, should take comfort that both of the leading candidates would likely represent a change from the status quo. To use a political analogy using the Canadian spectrum, if Maestracci represented the Conservative Party then Montagliani would be the Liberals and Smale the NDP. Unlike real life, the Conservatives are not going to win this election though.

    Here at CSN our pro-reform stance is well established. As such it should come as no surprise that we are supportive of Smale’s efforts and would be happy with him winning the presidency. However, what you might find more surprising is that a Montagliani win would also provide us with some hope – particularly if he was pushed hard by Smale in the election.

    Montagliani can come off as a bit blunt. For that reason, and because he’s currently in the CSA governing body, many lump him in with the Old Boys network. Make no mistake though Montagliani is not part of Maestracci’s inner circle and is far more reform minded than those currently running the show.

    Last year I was surprised when one former player described him as “one of the good ones” when talking about Montagliani. I was surprised, but I didn’t disagree. I can tell you that I’ve found him to be straightforward and honest in the dealings I’ve had with him.

    Although Smale would likely try and implement the pro-reform ideas quicker, there is an argument top be had that suggests that Montagliani might be more efficient, if slower, at bringing change. He’s a little more pragmatic and understands the political players involved. Therefore, he’s more politically astute than Smalle might be.

    All this is not to say that CSN outwardly endorses Montagliani’s (yet to become official) campaign over Smale’s. Rather, it’s a suggestion that soccer fans in Canada might finally be looking at a can’t lose situation.



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