Ottawa Fury FC and the club’s general manager Julian de Guzman were in the middle of assembling their roster for the 2019 USL season when news broke that Ottawa Fury were not sanctioned to play in the USL altogether.
In a statement on the club’s website on Dec. 12, Fury FC said, “CONCACAF is seeking to prevent Fury FC from participating in the USL in 2019.”
Some predicted this outcome, but still, it shocked many.
Since then, CONCACAF has also made a statement:
“Under international sanctioning rules, clubs that are affiliated to an Association may only join competitions in another Association’s territory under exceptional circumstances,” said CONCACAF, in a statement on their website on Dec. 13.
“CONCACAF to date has not received a formal request from any party to consider sanctioning the participation of the Ottawa Fury in the 2019 season of the USL, despite public announcements by Ottawa Fury that it would be doing so.”
It is important to note that it is up to the CSA to put in a sanction request, not Ottawa Fury.
Also in the statement, CONCACAF said that it “typically does not comment publicly on sanctioning matters” and that it had advised the CSA “of its concerns regarding the issue” previously.
It’s not pretty how things are unfolding as of now. Some Ottawa Fury executives have criticized CONCACAF for its ruling, and CONCACAF, on the other hand, seem unwilling to budge from its position.
With the CPL set to start in April 2019, under FIFA rules Ottawa Fury are compelled to participate in its country’s league and not the USL, even though they participated in the USL in 2017 and 2018, and received permission from the CSA and United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to do so again in 2019.
At first, it seemed like a high-handed move from CONCACAF and its president Victor Montagliani, a former Canadian Soccer executive and supporter of the CPL, but the ordeal is also plagued by mismanagement and a lack of communication on all sides as this outcome should have been easily avoided.
There was a lot of debate on whether Fury FC should join the CPL, but this is an outcome nobody wanted, even if it means Fury FC will be playing in the CPL in 2019.
There is a way for this all to be resolved amicably but there is also a chance that Ottawa Fury doesn’t hit the field in 2019.
Waking the Red will be following the story as it unfolds.