Concacaf de-sanctions Ottawa Fury participation in USL

Canadian football club Ottawa Fury FC claim the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) is seeking to prevent them from continuing to play in the US-based second division USL (United Soccer League) Championship. Canada has its own professional league the Canadian Premier League launching in 2019. This comes after both the member federations involved – Canada Soccer and US Soccer – approved the Fury’s participation in the USL Championship for 2019.

“This action by Concacaf is unprecedented and simply wrong,” said Mark Goudie, president and chief executive of Fury FC’s parent company, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG). “Our lawyers have requested that Concacaf immediately provide further details on the basis for this decision. We also understand that Canada Soccer will be seeking clarification as to the rationale for Concacaf’s decision. In the event that Concacaf does not immediately reconsider its position, Fury FC will take all steps – including legal proceedings – so as to ensure that it will be able to continue providing professional soccer to our loyal and new fans and supporters in a league of our choosing.”

USL president Jake Edwards said: “It’s wrong. Forcing a team to move from the league it is scheduled to play in – and wants to play in – three months before the season starts is unacceptable. Schedules have been set, players signed, season tickets sold. It’s not fair to anyone, including the 35 other teams in our league who are being negatively affected. Allowing this to happen would set a very poor precedent and we’ll do everything in our power to support the Ottawa Fury FC. ”

The Ottawa Fury FC began playing as a second division club in 2014 playing in the US-based NASL (North American Soccer League). The club shifted to the USL at the conclusion of the 2016 season.