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  • Dr. Maestracci, it is time to go


    The Canadian Soccer Association took another round of largely positive steps forward at its annual general meeting in Montreal this weekend. In doing so, it roundly rejected multiple motions put forward by its president, Dr. Dominique Maestracci.

    And it is to him I wish to address myself today.


    Let’s assume, for a minute, that you are in fact on the side of the angels in Alberta.


    For this to be true, former Alberta Soccer Association president Chris Billings would have to be guilty of financial misconduct and abusive treatment of staff.

    We’ve heard this from the usurping Mario Charpentier crew all along, but no actual witnesses have come forward, and no conclusive evidence has emerged. Since even you would have to acknowledge this is not a time in Canadian soccer history where things stay secret for very long, that lack of evidence remains troubling.

    Okay. Maybe you know stuff I don’t. For the moment, and to be helpful, let’s assume that’s true, too.

    So then Charpentier runs around suspending everyone in sight, refusing medals at youth tournaments, and generally acting like a selfish, clueless embodiment of the old world of Canadian soccer. And when a court finally orders him to hold a special general meeting and face the music from his adoring public, you send him a letter assuring him the worst that can happen is he could face a simple motion of non-confidence.

    I’ve been told – by people I deeply trust – that you may even have been slightly, technically not completely wrong about that.

    But here’s what you had to ignore to get there. The three-page court order included an agenda for the general meeting, opening with dismissal motions against Charpentier and six of his directors. The nerve! How can courts interfere with soccer?


    Those dismissal motions weren’t drafted by the court. They were drafted by Charpentier’s own ASA! And no matter how big a break I try to give you here, sir, I am baffled beyond words as to how you could not have understood that.

    The meeting was held. Charpentier and six of his directors were very loudly – and very publicly – fired. So much for your reassuring words. eh?

    Of course, Charpentier then wants to argue that the meeting was illegal.


    - He made his own bed.

    - The Alberta membership overwhelmingly rejected him.

    And that’s not even pointing out a separate Alberta legal ruling that said your own conduct in the matter could, in the darkest light, be interpreted as criminal.

    So, a while goes by and Ole Jacobsen from Airdrie gets elected ASA president. The districts that backed Charpentier abstain from the whole election process, still hoping to get the earlier meeting overturned.

    I assume that’s what you had in your mind on Friday night, sir, when you tried to strip Alberta of their voting rights at this weekend’s CSA annual general meeting.


    - Your own appeals committee has already rejected Charpentier’s bid, saying they lack jurisdiction.

    - Your motion to unseat Jacobsen was rudely and roundly rejected by the CSA board.

    Did you also notice that every by-law change you tried to put into motion yesterday suffered the same dismal fate? That level of overwhelming rejection, for a sitting president? How is it possible?

    Okay, I know we’ve left a lot of stuff out. These are complicated stories, so I’m trying to stay as close as possible to the main plotline.

    The truth, Dr. Maestracci, is that this whole inconvenient business of reform initially caught you off-guard. It has now totally run away from you. Your term will end in a year. You have no chance of being re-elected.

    Reform happened despite you. The heavy lifting of landing the Women’s World Cup for Canada was done by others. Faced with a cancerous upheaval in Alberta, you waited too long to act, then backed the wrong horse.

    Your continuing bid to isolate Alberta has been overwhelmingly rejected by Albertans and CSAers alike. Your own appeals committee won’t even hear the case.

    The Canadian Soccer Association has changed forever – and for better – on your watch. But you have done very little to help. I suggest to you, sir – and not at all in isolation – that any moral right you have to head this association for another year has expired.

    You do not speak for your organization. You no longer reflect your organization. And, certainly, you do not lead your organization.

    It is time, Dr. Maestracci, for you to do the only honourable thing … and resign.


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