Forge FC Makes Statement Regarding Racial Allegations
Tuesday night’s Canadian Championship fixture between Forge FC and Cavalry FC gave birth to one of the best naturally-developed rivalries of the young league, but the exciting occasion was marred in reprehensible controversy when several Cavalry FC players accused Forge FC assistant coach Peter Reynders of making racial, discriminatory remarks as both sides clashed after the game’s conclusion.
Reynders had been filling in as a temporary head coach while Bobby Smyrniotis pursued UEFA coaching qualifications in Europe. It is unclear what he said, but multiple players have reported that it was discriminatory in nature.
The Canadian Premier League made an official statement today indicating that an investigation regarding the incident is now underway. Once the investigation is complete, the league will pass on its findings to the Canada Soccer Association, who will then decide on a course of action from there.
This evening, Forge FC has made its own statement regarding the allegations against Reynders, reiterating a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination.
Forge FC has confirmed it is undergoing an internal review, and will make no further comment until the matter has reached a conclusion – which won’t happen until the Canadian Premier League has passed along its findings to Canada Soccer.
It is not clear if Reynders will retain his assistant coach position in the interim. The club will play the away leg of the Canadian Championship second qualifying round on June 11, and it’s sure to be a match filled with emotions.
Before this Tuesday’s game was marred by the abhorrent incident, both sides had nearly started a full-team brawl as the match came to a dramatic conclusion. There was little love lost between the two sides even before the Forge FC head coach reportedly crossed the line.
If the investigation is positive, it is almost certain that Reynders will lose his job. The Canadian Premier League has built a reputation on supporting Canadian values, and racism certainly has no place in the league – or anywhere else, for that matter.
Cavalry FC squad members Jordan Brown, Nathan Mavila, and Elijah Adekugbe all requested that the league investigate the incident, and took to social media so that their voices would be heard. It’s good to see the league, the CSA, and Forge FC itself taking the accusation seriously.
It’s not clear how long the investigation will take to conclude. We’ll keep you updated as the case unfolds.
Source: Forge FC (via Twitter)