Canada Soccer officials defend controversial deal with Canadian Soccer Business

·1 min read

Canada Soccer defended its controversial deal with Canada Soccer Business under questioning on Parliament Hill by the House of Commons heritage committee.

The agreement allows the CSB to oversee marketing and broadcasting rights, with an annual payment to Canada Soccer. The arrangement provided Canada Soccer with a guaranteed income while helping fund the Canadian Premier League.

But Canada Soccer general secretary Earl Cochrane says the governing body is in negotiations to "modernize" the CSB agreement.

Cochrane also said the governing body had erred in cuts this year to the women's team program and was moving to remedy them.

Cochrane was accompanied by Canada Soccer board members Paul-Claude Berube and Stephanie J. Geosits. All three appeared via video conference.

Former Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis was invited to appear but was unable to attend.

The committee moved to require Bontis, Canada Soccer chief financial officer Sean Heffernan and CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani to appear before a future hearing.

Bontis resigned last month after provincial and territorial governing bodies, in a letter, asked him to step down. Cochrane said the letter was essentially a non-confidence vote.

Monday's hearing of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage came 11 days after testimony by captain Christine Sinclair and teammates Janine Beckie, Sophie Schmidt and Quinn, who goes by one name.

The players, who have made a combined 732 appearances for Canada at the senior level, told the parliamentary committee that the Canadian women's team has essentially been treated as an afterthought compared to the men's side.


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2023.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press