Canada Soccer joins federal government's safe sport program

Canada Soccer is the latest national sports organization to sign an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport, the federal government's program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.

The governing body for soccer will have access to the new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which is the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport, following a transition period that will end no later than March 1.

Canada Soccer is also fully adopting the University Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS).

Canada's sport minister, Pascale St-Onge, has given national sport organizations a deadline of April to sign on with OSIC, or risk losing federal funding.

Athletes in numerous sports including gymnastics, bobsled and skeleton have been vocal about maltreatment in their sports, amid what St-Onge has called a "safe-sport crisis" in Canada.

Canada Soccer participants who have experienced or witnessed abuse will have access to the organization's independent third-party services until March 1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press