Takedown!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:51 PM ET

For starters take down the sign outside of Commonwealth Stadium. It is no longer "Canada's National Soccer Stadium.''

Next, submit the resignation of Allan Bolstad and the entire local organizing committee for the FIFA 2007 World U-20 here.

Thus deliver the message to the Canadian Soccer Association - that they won't be able to sell this event here now.

Thus deliver the message that what the CSA has managed to do here is to finally kill the goose which kept laying the golden egg for them no matter how the CSA stumbled and bumbled or how poorly they promoted.

They're done in Edmonton!

The CSA just forced a city into a mindset of telling them to take their tournament - to take their 84th ranked men's soccer teams for now and for the future - and shove them where the sun doesn't shine.

What the CSA did in giving Toronto the opening game and the final of the biggest soccer tournament ever to be held on Canadian soil was a slap on one side of the face of Edmonton followed by a slap on the other.

Not having the opening game of the tournament was acceptable if Edmonton had the final. But to get neither is a colossal punch in the privates to a city which has produced success story after success story in international sport hostings and crowds for soccer which don't compute anywhere else in Canada.

It's unconscionable.

SOLD-OUT CITY

This is the city which sold out Commonwealth Stadium for the final of the inaugural FIFA U-19 World Women's Championships and drew 166,000 for six dates for teenage girls soccer in an event which had never been held before.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter called it "ballistic'' and decided then and there Canada was capable of holding the men's U-20.

"The Canadian Soccer Association used Edmonton as the projected host city for the final to win the bid,'' said Bolstad back when he started twisting in the wind waiting for the CSA to give him the games he signed on believing were ours. "We were the partners to win the bid. They promised the final would be here and we were expecting all the Canadian games to be here.''

After Canada plays the opener in Toronto, the team is scheduled to play their second and third games here. Whoop dee doo!

This is the city where Canada brought its teams - taking them away from Toronto where ethnic fans came to cheer against Canada and for the nations supplying the opposition.

When Canada won the event, CEO Kevan Pipe promised the final would be here. As recently as September last year, CSA president Andy Sharpe said "Edmonton will probably get it.''

A monumental snub of a city to play in a 20,000-seat stadium? Edmonton had 20,000 minimum for every game in the teenage girls inaugural. Try that in Toronto.

Short memories these CSA people. How often was it again that the Alberta Soccer Association loaned money to meet the CSA's payroll over the years?

And gimme a break. This is about a stadium which hasn't been built.

STINK HAS BLOWN WEST

There's an odour on this.

Federal financing ($27 million) for the $62 million new stadium hadn't been signed, sealed and delivered when the election call came. Take a good, long, hard look at this one, Stephen Harper.

This deal stinks. To a lot of people in Toronto it stinks. Now the stink has blown west.

The U-20 is the soccer equivalent of hockey's World Juniors. As is the case with hockey, it has been the coming-out party for the future stars of the sport.

It is probably the best soccer you are likely ever to watch in Canada.

In a way, you could say that to stay away would be punishing yourself more than anybody if you love the world's game.

The best response to this would probably be for Edmonton to fill the joint anyway for all the games here and rub the CSA's nose in it in front of Sepp Blatter.

Maybe Edmonton will get over this and do just that. But, boy, is that hard to see happening right now. This is a city which today wants to tell the CSA to go away and never come back.


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