Canada Soccer Names Charmaine Crooks As Acting President
Canada Soccer has appointed Charmaine Crooks as the new acting President following the resignation of Dr. Nick Bontis.
Crooks, who makes history as the first woman and person of colour to hold the position, is a five-time Olympian athlete who has executive experience with the Canadian Olympic Committee and had served as the Head of Delegation with Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team.
A founding member of the Right to Play organization who serves on the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, she had previously served as Canada Soccer’s Vice President under Bontis – a position which will now be held in an acting role by Kelly Brown.
Brown has held an Independent Director post with Canada Soccer since 2020, and is a lawyer who is the executive Vice President of People, Legal, and Corporate Affairs at Arterra Wines Canada. She’s held an Independent Director post with Canada Soccer since 2020.
“The job ahead for our organizations, our sport, and for the players who wear our Canadian jersey, is as important to me as any race I’ve competed in,” said Charmaine Crooks following the announcement. “I know and understand the calls to get this right, and I am certain that we will be able to deliver real progress for our national teams all the way on down to our grassroots. I want to thank the members of the board for their support and I am fully committed to listening, learning and building relationships and trust across the entire soccer ecosystem in Canada.”
Canada Soccer – who had previously come under scrutiny for the lack of women’s representation in its executive ranks – were quick to point out that it has six female board members, representing 46% of the board itself.
“To be able to represent our country, our national programs, and our entire membership at this level – and at this time – is an absolute privilege,” added acting VP Kelly Brown. “I care deeply about growing our sport in Canada and helping our athletes reach their fullest potential – on and off the pitch. We have substantial and meaningful work ahead of us, and the decisions made in the coming months, will chart our path for the future.”
There’s still plenty of question marks surrounding this future, with the House of Commons having called on the outbound Nick Bontis and Canada Soccer Generaly Secretary Earl Cochrane.
The House of Commons’ Heritage Committee directed Canada Soccer to produce its media and sponsorship contract with Canada Soccer Business along with all board meeting minutes from 2017.
The resignation of Nick Bontis came amidst a highly public dispute over pay inequity and budgeting concerns from the women’s national team, with the men’s national team voicing their support too.
It remains to be seen how different a path Crooks, who had served as Nick’s VP since 2020, will chart for Canada Soccer.
The organization’s new Acting President has plenty on her plate, taking the helm amidst quite a turbulent time for the organization.