Canada Soccer Finishes Investigation Into Racial Incident
Following the end of a heated Canadian Championship match between Forge FC and Cavalry FC on June 4, a post-game altercation between both teams occurred. Cavalry FC striker Jordan Brown accused Forge FC assistant head coach Peter Reynders of making racial remarks, with the serious accusation being corroborated by both Nathan Mavila and Elijah Adekugbe.
Both Forge FC and the Canadian Premier League released statements regarding the incident, stating that the allegations were being actively investigated and that the results would be passed on to the Canada Soccer Association.
Some 83 days after the incident occurred, the CSA has now officially reached a verdict.
The Canada Soccer Association has found Reynders guilty of misconduct in relation to the charge whereby he made a verbal discriminatory statement that was not caught by the match officials. He will serve a 45 day suspension from soccer and all soccer-related activities.
What he said remains unclear, but it’s racially-charged nature was made abundantly clear when Brown took to social media following the incident in June.
Neither the Canadian Premier League nor Forge FC have yet to release any follow-up statements after the verdict was posted, though the main supporters’ group for Forge FC did release its own statement reaffirming a zero tolerance policy towards racism:
While it’s clear that Reynders will be stepping away from Forge FC for the next 45 days, it’s not certain what will happen next in regards to how the Hamilton-based club will react: will Reynders be welcomed back, or will the club distance itself from the assistant coach?
The abhorrent incident is a blight on what has otherwise been a great opening few months of the league’s inaugural season: the league has established itself with a high level of play, celebrated pride month with its supporters, and is already helping countless Canadian players – regardless of ethnicity – prove their worth in a professional environment.
Forge FC had previously stated that it would have no further comments until the investigation was complete, so it’ll be interesting to see what the club says now that the time has come and Reynders has been found guilty of misconduct.
Whatever happens next will set the tone for a league which represents itself as ‘By Canadians, For Canadians’. Fans have already been quite vocal about their expectations on how the incident is handled on social media, though only time will tell what happens at the Hamilton-based club.
The Forge FC squad will be trying to keep their focus on the pitch as they aim to make history in the CONCACAF League, with the club travelling to Honduras hoping to secure an away result against CD Olimpia behind closed doors. Having won the first leg 1-0 at Tim Hortons Field, the club will feel it has a good chance to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Source: Canada Soccer