No U.S. tournaments for North Shore Girls Soccer Club due to travel ban

The North Shore Girls Soccer Club won't be playing in the United States for now.

The club made the decision to ban players from playing in tournaments south of the border, because of the travel restrictions imposed on six Muslim-majority countries by the Trump administration.

"This is not a commentary on the political situation in the U.S.," said Dean Crawford, a member of the board of directors for the North Shore Girls Soccer Club. 

"We just didn't want a situation where any of the girls could be turned back or delayed. That could have lasting effects on how they view playing soccer," said Crawford.

Crawford said being hassled at the border could have negative long-term effects on the players mental health. 

A similar decision to not travel to the United States was made by the Girl Guides of Canada and Whitecaps soccer fans.

The Trump administration's first executive order imposing travel restrictions was struck down by judges in the U.S., and a second revised order was put on hold by judges in Hawaii and Maryland.

But Crawford said the club didn't want to take any risks. 

"We know that we have club members who have spent time in those countries that are named by the travel ban and have club members that are of the Muslim faith, so it was just out of an abundance of caution," he said. 

Club members were informed of the new policy which impacts about 2,600 girls on March 21, the majority of whom Crawford said, agreed with the decision. 

"Our girls do enjoy the opportunity to play in the United States and that was certainly something we had to take into account, but we just thought that the potential for harm for some girls being turned away outweighed the benefits," he said.

B.C. Soccer, the official governing body for soccer in B.C., said it doesn't know of any other teams or clubs that have taken a similar stance. 

But it said it supports clubs no matter what decision they make on this matter.

The North Shore Girls Soccer Club plans to review the ban again in four months.