Friday, 5 April 2013

A change to the GKSSA friendlies vs Kingston FC

Late last week, soon before the scheduled friendlies between GKSSA teams and Kingston FC's squad, a notification was sent to most of the clubs in the Kingston area from SOSA (the local district), forwarding along an email from Bruce Henderson at the OSA, suggesting that moving forward with these games was not recommended.

The email stated that the status of Kingston FC was unclear and that they may not be associated with any governing organization, something that has been covered here in some detail over the last month. It also stated that OSA-registered referees would not be permitted to officiate games involving unaffiliated teams. The relevant portions of the email are listed below:
The OSA is awaiting clarification from the Canadian Soccer Association.
Therefore, we should err on the side of caution and treat this team as an unaffiliated team.   Consequently:
  1. OSA-registered referees are not permitted to officiate games involving unaffiliated teams
  1. SOSA is not permitted to sanction exhibition games involving unaffiliated teams
  1. there is no insurance provided when a game is unsanctioned
  1. SOSA Clubs would be well advised not to play exhibition games against Kingston FC until such time that the CSA clarifies the situation
In an effort to organize the games, Tony Camacho (Chairman of the CSA's referee committee, and past referee assignor for the CSL) was contacted and informed Stan Adamson of the CSL that he was unaware of any objection to the game and told Kingston FC to contact SOSA to ensure referees were available for the game.

The biggest issue with this situation is the confusing messages sent to the local players, referees, and teams from the bureaucratic associations that administer the game. The organizers made a decision to not put the game officials in a difficult situation and postponed the games until the conflicting messages could be resolved.

In response to the obvious conflict of the situation, Kingston FC chose to change the friendly matches to join practice sessions between their team and the GKSSA teams. Lorne Abugov, Kingston FC's chairman stated "From our perspective, we welcome the GKSSA teams to join our players for these joint practice sessions, which are also important to our club as a demonstration of our desire to establish great relations with the top senior teams in and around Kingston."

Soccer Plus FC, the team scheduled to play the first game this past Saturday, chose not to participate, partly due to the Easter holiday, and partly due to the awkward situation laid out by the jurisdictional organizations. Joe Scanlon, Kingston FC's president, expressed the opinion that the timing suggested that the CSA was determined to do anything it could to try to undermine the CSL. “It seems sad,” he said, “that this kind of deliberate disruptive tactics should be interfering with football – but that’s what seems to be happening.”

Portuguese Benfica has chosen to participate in the open joint practice session tonight at the West Campus turf field beginning at 5:30pm. The session is open to the public and will culminate in a scrimmage between the two teams.

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