Canada Soccer voted unanimously on Saturday to officially approve the Canadian Premier League, at the national association’s Annual Members Meeting in Whistler, BC.
The Canadian Premier League has received unanimous support to join Canada Soccer. #CANPL— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) May 6, 2017
According to Duane Rollins (@24thminute on Twitter), the league is set to begin play in August 2018, with a short inaugural season. A more official launch is scheduled to come in the spring of 2019.
As of right now, only two ownership groups have been approved for the league, with teams from Hamiton and Winnipeg confirmed to be among the CPL’s first members.
In addition, Hamilton and Winnipeg ownership groups have been accepted as members, unanimously. #CANPL— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) May 6, 2017
Now that support from Canada Soccer is official, those behind the CPL will be able to move forward more directly with finding additional ownership groups. Organizers, including CSA president Victor Montagliani and project manager Paul Beirne, now have a year before the Canadian Premier League’s first games could be played.
Reports of the CPL’s application for membership in Canada Soccer surfaced in April, shortly after the announcement of Canada’s joint bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. That application received unanimous support in Whistler today, meaning the league has officially become part of the national soccer governing body’s plans.
This announcement has been heavily anticipated for months, with talks of a potential top-flight professional league in Canada swirling. This still an early stage of the process, and more information is to come. Keep an eye on Waking the Red for more Canadian PL news.