Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Canadian Soccer League website vanished? Sanctioning?

At some point on Monday morning, the Canadian Soccer League's website disappeared from the internet, domain name and all.

There were some technical glitches with the site last week as their news feed disappeared a couple of times and their database of news, press releases, and statistics vanished, but nothing as surprising as the domain name no longer existing.

In the latest turn of disconcerting events for the Canadian Soccer League (CSL), this follows an announcement by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) that "the Canadian Soccer League did not fulfill its member obligations and violated rules and regulations of the Canadian Soccer Association, resulting in its expulsion and the cancellation of all rights in relation to the national governing body." This announcement was made on March 5, 2014 as a result of a meeting of the CSA Board of Directors on February 28, 2014.

When the CSA was asked whether the domain name being taken offline was part of the recent membership removal actions, they responded stating that "the shut down is related to the expulsion of the CSL from membership, details of which [we are] not prepared to share."

Further to this, there have been some recent rumblings of the CSL's partnership with American Professional Soccer (APS) and the American Soccer League (ASL) allowing for the possibility of the CSL's being a sanctioned league after all. As things stand, the APS/ASL has applied to the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) for sanctioning and according to Lorne Abugov of Kingston FC, "the CSL partnership is one of the items in the discussion." The CSA responded to these rumours by stating that "the process to be sanctioned by Canada Soccer remains the same and any new entity wishing to request sanctioning to operate on Canadian soil would have to abide by it."

Finally, there is the possibility of litigation being brought forward by the CSL against the CSA as relates to the removal of membership. When asked about this, Lorne Abugov stated in an email that "with the way things were done last year, it would definitely be open for the CSL to pursue legal actions v CSA. Given last year's events, CSL lawyers would naturally look at process for this year's recent announcement to ensure that no illegal procedure was followed." He followed that up noting that Kingston had no knowledge of any current litigation active or in process of being brought against the CSA, also stating that the club could not comment on it if there was litigation.

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