CONCACAF: Fury Submitted Incomplete Application
When the Ottawa Fury announced that was ceasing operations yesterday as a result of a failure to acquire sanctioning in time, members of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group fired shots at several governing bodies: OSEG blamed the CSA for a delay in communications, while OSEG President Mark Goudie also declared that the USSF and CONCACAF intentionally ‘dragged their feet’ so that the Fury would miss its application deadline for the 2020 USL Championship season.
By the time that November deadline passed, only the Canada Soccer Association had sanctioned the club to play in the USL for 2020, simultaneously rejecting an effort from the Fury to acquire multi-year sanctioning to play in a foreign league.
CONCACAF has since released a statement to Sports Business reporter Bob Williams in which the continental governing body declared that the Ottawa Fury had submitted an incomplete application:
We are disappointed and surprised by Ottawa Fury’s statement. There is a clearly defined process outlined in Concacaf and FIFA rules for sanctioning clubs to compete in leagues in foreign territories. We have recently been working through an incomplete application for Ottawa Fury to compete in the United Soccer League in 2020. We will not comment on the details of that application, and given today’s announcement we now consider the matter closed.CONCACAF
The news ties in with an earlier report from prominent sports personality Duane Rollins, who stated that a source in the CSA hold told him that the Fury did not answer the question of ‘why do you qualify for special dispensation’ on the application form. The Fury, for its part, had referred to this process as a ‘mere formality’.
The CSA released a statement yesterday expressing its disappointment that the Ottawa Fury suspended operations, stating that its board of directors had approved sanctioning on May 17, with the governing body forwarding respective requests to CONCACAF and USSF – though members of the Ottawa Fury ownership group claim that the CSA waited until September to do so.
The now-defunct USL Championship team had just completed its best-ever season in the USL, reaching the postseason for the first time. It parted ways with head coach Nikola Popovic last week, suggesting something big was happening behind the scenes – though it is now known that this is when the extended application deadline for competing in the USL was missed.
The Ottawa Fury had 29 players on its roster, with twenty of them being domestic players (six of which were on loan). It’s unclear what’s next for these players, though it’s easy to see the vast majority being picked up by USL Championship and Canadian Premier League sides.
The existence of Canada’s own domestic professional soccer league contributed to the Fury’s recent sanctioning difficulties: CONCACAF had attempted to refuse sanctioning the Fury ahead of the 2019 season, believing that it should be playing in Canada’s domestic top division (the CPL) instead. After that, it was largely expected that the Ottawa Fury would face an uphill battle regarding future sanctioning, and this ultimately led to the club’s demise.
We here at Northern Tribune hope all the players and staff impacted by the shuttering of the Ottawa Fury land on their feet. Though Club President John Pugh lamented that politics were the ultimate killing blow to his club, this clearly wasn’t the ending any of the parties involved would have ultimately wanted.
Sources: Bob Williams (via Twitter), Duane Rollins (via Twitter)