The Canadian Soccer Association is not an organization about which terms like competence, leadership or strong decision making spring immediately to mind.
In the past few weeks, this organization has successfully delayed (some believe effectively gutted) it’s own ‘governance reform’ initiative, ostensibly in the “interests of the nation”.
There has been much written about the reasons for the delays.
The general consensus amongst media (including former MNT members) seems to be that the vote (which, for the record, was in support a much watered down version of the original proposal – one that would see the change in composition of the board phased in over several years – and delayed a full year in implementation) was a ‘great step forward’ for the game in Canada.
With all due respect, I find such suggestions to be utter claptrap.
What exactly are we preserving by delaying implementation of governance reform?
Should poor (occasionally disgraceful) administrative & leadership performance be preserved?
Anyone with even modest familiarity with the “CSA way” of doing things knows exactly what the three year phased implementation will be used for – and it isn’t to bring prospective new board members up to speed.
The window this organization has awarded itself will be used to undermine the goals of reform – to perpetuate the staggering under performance, incompetence and self interest that has pervaded the CSA at the highest levels for decades.
All of this brings us to the issue of Carolina Morace and the Women’s National Team.
Was I the only one having a ‘Groundhog Day’ moment when news of Ms. Morace’s post WC resignation broke?
In the days since, additional information (much of it speculative if not completely unfounded) has leaked out.
This included a shocking impromptu press conference from Mr. Montopoli, in which he claimed that the CSA was “unaware” of any issues and would like to ‘sit down’ with Morace to discuss and hopefully resolve the matter.
Does anyone in the country actually believe that he (much less the CSA) does not already know what the issues are? Even for an organization with the CSA’s record of being out of touch, this would represent a new low point. The statement stretches credulity.
When the CSA hired Morace – just two years ago – they did so with the clear direction that she rebuild the national program and create a winner. This she has done, in record time in my book. Now, she wants the freedom to control (but not set) her own budget.
If she feels, for example, that the squad needs a ten day warm weather training session to prepare for a tournament and the money for it is in the budget, she wants to simply book the session – not wait for the paper pushers on Metcalfe St. to get around to thinking about it.
This, for the new, reformed, dynamic and forward thinking CSA, was a non-starter.
Does the name Rene Simoes ring a bell?
He agreed to coach the MNT a few years ago. He had even signed a binding contract to do so. Then the CSA got wind of the details… Simoes would have control of the direction of the national programs and player development at the elite level.
“Not on our watch he won’t”
And so, Rene Simoes went away (likely with a sack full of money as settlement). Simoes may not have been the greatest coach in the world. But he was unquestionably what was (and is) desperately needed – an internationally qualified coach to take over the national programs and rebuild them.
Then CSA President Colin Linford convinced Simoes that Canada was ready to hand over the program to him and give him the time and resources to make us punch at, rather than 40 places below, our international weight. Simoes agreed.
And then the CSA pulled the rug out from under both of them. No expense was spared to ensure that control was retained by the same group that has woefully mismanaged the national programs of this country for decades.
Echoes of the past, indeed.
Please refrain from posting comments that;
The House reserves the right to delete any such comments and to block further participation on the site.