Soccer's red card

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

If FIFA has any clue what's going on in Canada, how in the world could they possibly award the 2011 Women's World Cup to our nation this morning?

Today in Zurich, FIFA will hear the bids and announce the winner.

How can the Canadian Soccer Association be over there bidding against Germany to be host of the event days after setting up the women's soccer program back home not to succeed?

NO FUNDING

Player representative Kristina Kiss, Sun Media has learned, sat in a meeting in Ottawa where she discovered the CSA wouldn't fund her team to play a single, solitary game in Canada on an Olympic year and only one non-qualifying game on the road if the team's expenses were paid.

At the same time, Sun Media has also learned, the Vancouver Whitecaps sent president Bob Lenarduzzi to Ottawa to offer to host the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Burnaby with no financial downside to the CSA. And they turned it down!

"We don't have a home match in an Olympic year. The CSA won't be providing us with even one," said Kiss.

"I'm pretty disappointed. The team is disappointed. The women U-20 and U-17 budgets have been cut so that they barely exist. We don't feel we're being represented well enough by our association."

Kiss said the provincial associations could provide funding to help out but they won't.

"There's a huge trust issue in governance," she said of the CSA. "The provinces don't want to give the money until that's resolved. As a player rep you just want the money there no matter how it gets there."

The real kicker here is that a second attempt to host the Olympic qualifying tournament has been turned down by the CSA who were originally offered the hosting of the tournament by CONCACAF.

"They turned down a gift from us," said Vancouver Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi yesterday.

"There was no downside. Our organization, with financial support from the province of British Columbia, and backing from the COC and Sport Canada, offered to host the event with no financial risk whatsoever to the CSA. We as a club decided to offer a lifeline.

"We would backstop the hosting of the Olympic qualifying tournament here. We would run it ourselves. Hopefully it would break even. But we were prepared to cover any and all losses," added Lenarduzzi.

It was just over a month ago at the Women's World Cup in China, Canadians were outraged when Angus Barrett of the CSA admitted that the CSA turned the qualifying tournament down because "we couldn't afford the $300,000 to $400,000 it would cost" to play host to the six team tournament in Canada. That, despite the advantage it would give Canada in attempting to get to next summer's Beijing Olympic Games.

Barrett said the event was therefore expected to be held in Haiti.

"Haiti can afford it but Canada can't?" said Canadian team manager Les Meszaros. "How do you explain that to the Canadian public?"

Exactly. And try explaining this.

$20,000 A YEAR

The Whitecaps are owned by Greg Kerfoot, the man who has put up significant money to pay Canada's players $20,000 each a year plus expenses to train them in Vancouver at a residency camp. He was willing to back the entire tournament.

And again the CSA said no!

"I don't believe they wanted a solution. I don't believe they really wanted to have a bid from us," said Lenarduzzi.

So it's going to end up in Haiti?

Rumours suggest Mexico has moved in.

"If that's true, and it goes to Mexico, qualifying will be even that much more difficult with the altitude, the heat and the smog," said Lenarduzzi, the former national men's coach who knows the challenges.

And the CSA had the audacity to be pitching Canada to host the FIFA Women's World Cup this morning despite what they were doing to destroy the Canadian program at home?

Who are these guys?


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