CONCACAF says CPL means there is no reason for Ottawa to keep playing in USL

Given the launch of the Canadian Premier League, CONCACAF says it does not see the “exceptional circumstances” needed to sanction Ottawa Fury FC playing in the U.S.-dominated USL.

The Fury found themselves in limbo this week when CONCACAF, the governing body of soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, told the Canadian Soccer Association it would not sanction Ottawa playing in the USL in 2019.

That news came as a shock to Fury executives who said they had already received a green light from the Canadian Soccer Association and the U.S. Soccer Federation. Canada Soccer confirmed it had given its OK, but was awaiting approval from its U.S. counterpart before taking the matter to CONCACAF.

CONCACAF didn’t wait, however.

“Under international sanctioning rules, clubs that are affiliated to an association may only join competitions in another association’s territory under exceptional circumstances,” the confederation said in statement Thursday. “For the sanctioning of such play in our region, approval must be given by CONCACAF and FIFA.”

“As it stands to date, we do not see exceptional circumstances, given the launch of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) for the 2019 season,” CONCACAF added.

The confederation said it “clearly advised” Canada Soccer of its concerns in the matter in the fall. That’s news to the Fury, who have already sold 1,500 season tickets and have signed a dozen players for next season.

There was no such sanctioning problem last year when both Ottawa and Toronto FC 2, along with 31 America teams, played in the USL. But that was before the CPL came on the scene.

TFC 2 is moving into the new USL Division III for the league’s inaugural 2019 season, leaving Ottawa as the lone Canadian team in the USL.

The CPL kicks off in April with teams in seven cities.

Ottawa had been widely expected to be the CPL’s eighth team. But the Fury, while saying it supported the idea of a Canadian league, said in September that it planned to stick with the tried-and-tested USL. At least for the time being.

Ottawa left the North American Soccer League for the USL in 2017. In joining the USL, the Fury negotiated an agreement that allows it to exit with proper notice to join the CPL.

The latest move by CONCACAF, whose president is former Canada Soccer boss Victor Montagliani, appears to be a bid to ensure that the CPL takes centre stage in 2019.

Canada Soccer and CONCACAF both back the CPL. And CONCACAF is clearly willing to play the heavy to remove the USL from the picture on this side of the border.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing shorts uses trekking poles as he walks through the snow at Burnaby Mountain Park in Burnaby, B.C., on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Canadians are “Angry Birds” when it comes to climate action, indicates a survey the United Nations calls the largest ever taken on the issue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
UN survey uses Angry Birds to reveal Canadian, global opinions on climate policies

Canada seventh out of 50 countries when it comes to concern about the environment

Lacombe city council rescinded many policies and bylaws on Jan. 25, 2021. (File photo)
Lacombe gets rid of outdated policies and bylaws

Data integrity project underway since 2016

Police have charged two men after they allegedly tried to break into the Bentley post office with a semi. (Photo courtesy of RCMP)
Red Deer men charged in Bentley post office destruction

Police have charged a pair of Red Deer men after an attempted… Continue reading

Red Deer Fire Chief Ken McMullen remains concerned about “inconsistencies” in the province’s new way of dispatching local ambulances. (Advocate file photo).
A few glitches are already noticed in Red Deer’s new ambulance dispatch system

Local fire-medics need more data about ambulance arrival times

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen, left, makes a save on Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mitch Marner scores game winner for Maple Leafs in 4-3 win over Flames

Mitch Marner scores game winner for Maple Leafs in 4-3 win over Flames

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2007, file photo, Boston Red Sox's Curt Schilling pitches against the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the baseball World Series at Fenway Park in Boston. Like many baseball writers, C. Trent Rosecrans viewed the Hall of Fame vote as a labor of love. The results of the 2021 vote will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, and Rosecrans was not alone in finding the task particularly agonizing this time around. With Schilling's candidacy now front and center — and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still on the ballot as well — voters have had to consider how much a player’s off-field behavior should affect his Hall of Fame chances. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

Prince Edward Island’s Birt is bubble-bound but first wants provincial title

Prince Edward Island’s Birt is bubble-bound but first wants provincial title

Toronto Arrows await word on where they can play, with Plan B going to the U.S.

Toronto Arrows await word on where they can play, with Plan B going to the U.S.

Former CFL player,-coach Brady understands historical significance of NFL promotion

Former CFL player,-coach Brady understands historical significance of NFL promotion

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, watches during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Canadian James Hinchcliffe inks full-time ride with Andretti for 2021 IndyCar season

Canadian James Hinchcliffe inks full-time ride with Andretti for 2021 IndyCar season

Toronto Six down Boston Pride 2-1 for first NWHL victory in franchise history

Toronto Six down Boston Pride 2-1 for first NWHL victory in franchise history

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Copp (9) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers 6-4

Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers 6-4

Most Read