Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis Tenders Resignation
“This moment requires change,” says Nick Bontis.
In the midst of a highly public financial dispute with the women’s national team and shortly following today’s news that the thirteen provincial and territorial members of Canada Soccer had demanded his resignation, Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis is stepping down.
Bontis, who had held the post since he was elected in November 2020, confirmed that he is stepping down effectively immediately.
The former CSA President was one of two officials invited to testify in the House of Commons regarding Canada Soccer’s pay equity dispute with the women’s national team, who were unhappy at cuts made to funding despite their relative success on the pitch and what revenue they generated for the organization.
Here’s what the outbound executive penned upon his exit from Canada Soccer:
Today, I have submitted my resignation, effective immediately, to Canada Soccer’s Board of Directors.
I want to thank the entire membership, our players, our sponsors and every Canadian soccer fan who continues to support the growth of soccer in our country.
Canada Soccer and both of our National Team Programs have the real potential to sign a historic collective bargaining agreement. Once signed, it will be a landmark deal that will set our nation apart from virtually every other FIFA Member Association. While I have been one of the biggest proponents of equalizing the competitive performance environment for our Women’s National Team, I will unfortunately not be leading this organization when it happens. I acknowledge that this moment requires change.
Serving as a volunteer for this organization, and witnessing the tremendous achievements we’ve been able to accomplish together, has been some of the proudest moments of my life. Olympic success for our Women’s National Team. Genuine diversity on our Board of Directors, including our first ever female vice president. Our first Men’s FIFA World Cup goal at Qatar 2022. Winning the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup at home.
I know in my heart that there is more to come.
I am and always will be a passionate fan of Canadian soccer and our players. We are in the midst of some of the most exciting times in our nation’s soccer history. I look forward to continuing to support our country, its players and our quest for greatness.
In the immediate aftermath, it’s unclear how the resignation Nick Bontis will impact the House of Commons inquiry into the dispute with the women’s national team. It also remains to be seen how the organization will smooth waters with a side who described their treatment as both frustrating and appalling.
Bontis’ tenure as President occurred after the women’s team had already won Gold at the Olympics, though he was in the seat when the men’s team made history by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
He had also penned a note of congratulations for the Project 8 professional women’s soccer league aiming to launch in 2025, though some sources have told us that the CSA was caught off by the public launch of a league which would rival the Canadian Premier League’s planned women’s league.
While it remains to be seen what happens next after the departure of Bontis, his tenure as the Canada Soccer President certainly ended with one of the most tumultuous exits we will see for years to come.
This article will be updated with more details as they come.