Women's league rejected

KATHY RUMLESKI -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

The Ontario Soccer Association is rejecting a plan by the Canadian Professional Soccer League to run a women's league this summer.

In an e-mail obtained by The Free Press, John Knox, the OSA's league management committee chairperson, said his group won't allow the league to operate because it could have "a potentially damaging effect on the (Ontario Women's Soccer League)."

CPSL spokesperson Stan Adamson said he was stunned that any OSA official would make such comments.

"It's bowing to internal pressures and the politics of the game," Adamson said. "It's dynamite; it's jumping the gun."

He said the league hasn't had a chance to present its case.

The CPSL needs the approval of the governing body to run a female league or a tournament. It is considering a tournament if the league does not proceed.

Knox says the league's suggestion of holding a tournament over three months "is a farce" and he plans to take any steps needed to stop the CPSL.

OSA officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Ontario Women's Soccer League is also trying to stop the CPSL's plans.

"My members are against it," said OWSL president Tony Crowle.

He said the 12 provincial division teams would lose players to the CPSL.

"It's going to impact their teams greatly." London is concerned because girls are hedging "about signing with . . . their provincial team (London United Marconi), because they don't know what's happening."

Ryan Gauss, manager of London City's women's team that would play in the CPSL, said his team won't take players from the OWSL.

"We're not here to dismantle their provincial team," he said.

Adamson believes there are enough females playing soccer that even more top-flight teams could be added.

"A case could be made that there isn't even enough structure in place," he said.

Adamson said his group has put a lot of work into its proposal and they want to talk to the OSA about it.

"We will go back to the OSA and appeal to them to see reason."

The two sides are even disputing whether the CPSL has submitted an application to the OSA.

Adamson says an application in principle to operate women's soccer has been submitted, while the league management committee said in the letter that "no application has been received from the CPSL to run a league or a tournament."


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