Monday 24 March 2014

CSL to bring litigation against the CSA

CSL Chairman and President, Vincent Ursini appeared on Sunday morning's International Sports Report program on TSN 1050 this week to discuss the de-sanctioning of the Canadian Soccer League by the Canadian Soccer Association and their plans moving forward.

The interview came at the tail end of the program and was brief in nature, beginning at about the 1:23:00 mark. In it, Ursini briefly discussed the events of the CSA's expelling the CSL as a member and that the CSL has launched litigation against the CSA to appeal the situation, using the same legal firm as when they appealed the de-sanctioning in 2013.

The legal firm being used is BPR Litigation, based out of Richmond Hill, and with Rocco Ruso and Nick Porco announced as the lawyers on the case.

When asked why the CSA expelled the CSL, Mr. Ursini responded saying, "Well, there isn't a reason. they've stated that we've violated the rules and regulations and I can say that my involvement with the league going back to 1997, the league's never been convicted of a breach of any rules and regulations. We received absolutely no notification except for a letter saying that we were expelled for a breach of the rules which is in total violation of their own rules."

Mr. Ursini was then asked what it mean to be banned and the news about the CSL joining with an American league. He responded stating, "Well, we had prepared for this since a year ago, and so we're prepared to be a private league. We have our referees, and even the statement they made that no sanctioned teams can have any sporting contact with the league, that's not true. The rules provide for friendly games between any teams, sanctioned or unsanctioned. The only issue that's unfortunate is that we were, a late development was this union and negotiation and agreement that we're reaching with the American Professional League [APS]. Now, because they're seeking sanctioning, it's sorta thrown a wrench into the works because that was a huge, huge move for the league and our teams and our youth teams to interact and play cross-border games. So that's one thing that has hurt us, but the league itself, we intended to play all along. Even last year, the fact that the desanctioning, which was wrongful, happened months before our season started. It was important that, first of all, we prove them wrong, and secondly that we had order in the league last year, but we expected all this, we expected not to receive sanctioning from Ontario. I mean, it's ridiculous that up until just before our submission, they'd agreed on exactly what we were submitting, and then once we submitted our application, the answer we received was 'your application is incomplete.' Two emails, a week apart, asking for information, what's missing, rules of appeal. We have received no response. And in fact, even the CSA movement, I think, is basically, was a move because when they reminded us of the desanctioning that was effective February 14th this year, my comment was 'we're well aware of that but we are members in good standing according to CSA rules until the Annual General Meeting in May. Could you please clarify this?' We have received no response and the only communication we received was a letter indicating that we've been expelled because of violations which everyone knows."

When asked about launching litigation, Mr. Ursini confirmed that litigation had been launched to appeal the decision with the CSA and stated, "We have Rocco Ruso and Nick Porco from BPR Litigation that successfully represented us in two cases now and under their advisement, this is very straightforward. Even you don't have to be a lawyer, when an organization doesn't follow their own rules, it's unfortunate. I mean, if we did anything wrong, we're to blame and we'll take the penalty and if we did anything wrong, the first thing we'll try to do is try to correct it, the problem, but we don't know what the issues are."

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