Monday, July 12, 2010

Things looking up for the CSA?

Recently I wrote about the past stagnation of soccer development in Canada. One of my main criticisms was that the CSA (Canadian Soccer Association) lacked the organization and vision to lead Canada to a World Cup birth. In May of this year the governing body set up a new governance framework in order to address some of the long term issues there have been around the CSA.

This framework calls for an elected president, 6 appointed directors, 6 elected directors and most importantly none of them can be members of their provincial or territorial associations. This point may seem useless to casual observers, but for someone who knows how provincial power plays within the CSA has stymied progress in the past this is a huge deal. It in theory eliminates the provincial bias out of the decision making process. Time will tell if this will be true, but it is a positive first step in building credibility in the decision making process for soccer Canada.

Another positive aspect that came out of the new framework is its emphasis on gender in the top decision making group. The stipulation that there must be at least 3 directors of each gender is a first step in truly making women a part of the national team process. Given the success of our Women's Senior, U 20 and U 17 teams this step was long overdue.

What this also spells out is the clear roles of each of the branches of the association. Each branch understands and knows it role in helping to produce not only the best talent we can, but also to attract more sectors of corporate Canada who can help pour more money into player development. This will help Canada move away from member fees an dues which is the association's financial life blood, and into a more cost effective relationship with corporate Canada.

However what I hope this really does is send a message to the players and supporters of the national program that change is coming and that it is worth staying in Canada to reap the rewards. In the past players like former TFC captain Jim Brennan, current TFC captain Dwayne De Rosario and others have questioned the decision making of the CSA. This has lead to players retiring early from the national set up like Brennan, to players out right choosing other nations to play for due to the FIFA linage rules. Although this is only a first step in building a stronger CSA, this can instill a bit of belief in players that the national team will be moving in the right direction.

  • If you want some excellent insight into what these changes mean I suggest you read former Canada and Ipswich Town Captain Jason De Vos's take on the governance changes (Click Here)
  • On Saturday Michael Grange wrote and excellent article on Canadian Soccer and youth development through the club level here in Canada, and how it works in some other nations, I highly suggested read. (Click Here)


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