Jason mentions in his article the following illustration about the ineptitude of the CSA:
I received a phone call from my former agent in the U.K. prior to Canada’s game against Cyprus in May. He gave me some information about one of his clients – Asmir Begovic – who hadn’t been called up for the Cyprus game.
He told me that the English FA had asked him whether there was a possibility that Begovic could obtain English citizenship. At the time, Begovic was regarded as the best goalkeeper under the age of 21 in the U.K., and if he were to obtain an English passport, he would very likely be selected to play for the England U-21′s.
I passed that information on to the Canadian national team through the necessary channels, and it was met with relative indifference. There was certainly no urgency to seek a commitment from Begovic, nor was there any real fear that Canada was in danger of losing one of its players.
For the past several years I have been hearing ad nauseum about the ineptitude of the CSA, how the provincial reps have too much power, how the CSA is useless, what should be done to change/replace/revamp the CSA, how the CSA makes bad decisions, how the CSA is holding back soccer in Canada, why the CSA is to blame for Canada’s failure to advance to the World Cup since 1986, etc. All of these comments are valid, and the CSA truly is inept. The organization doesn’t have the power to do anything properly and it makes poor decisions. The CSA actually seems to accomplish the exact opposite of its purported goals, according to its vision statement, which states:
The vision of Soccer in Canada declares what our sport stands for and is working towards:
•To provide opportunities to all of our Members ranging from World Cup victories to particpation appropriate to everyone’s abilities.
•To encourage positive values in all aspects of the sport.
•To be recognized as a major player in the world’s premier sport.
What is missing from all the analysis by Jason Devost (though he has done great work to date), and every other sports reporter in Canada, is any mention of specifically what steps need to be taken to reform, replace or revamp the CSA. We can talk forever about how the CSA is useless. The real question that needs to be answered is: specifically what needs to be done to turn the CSA into an organization that actually accomplishes its goals, rather than impeding them.
It seems to me that there are two avenues of possible change: legal and political. Legally, the CSA is governed by the Canadian Soccer Association By-Laws, Rules, Regulations and Administrative Guide. The CSA website has the following link to this document:
Notable is that the document is listed as 2006-2007. The 2009-2010 document is probably similar, if it exists at all.
The first step that needs to be taken is analyzing the By-Laws and seeing specifically what can be done to initiate appropriate change. If this change is opposed, the media need to publicly expose those individuals from the provincial associations who are holding us back. The CSA is an organization run by people. There are people making bad decisions for Canadian soccer. Who are these people and what are their names? I am not about to engage in a full analysis of the by-laws as I am not a sports reporter being paid to do this. I note however, that the by-laws have the following sections, which could be a starting point for any intelligent analysis:
9. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING:
12. BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
13. TENURE AND ELECTION:
14. PROCEDURE FOR ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
17. DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS:
19. POWERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
26. AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS, RULES,REGULATIONS
Rather than constant whining about how the CSA sucks, maybe someone should actually look deep, and see HOW to effect the change. The best way is to start with the rules.
What I would like to see from some of the media who are actually being paid to analyze soccer in Canada is what steps need to be taken, and by whom. If the change is opposed, tell us who is opposing it, and let’s make this public. Enough whining and ideas. We have plenty of ideas and we all know change is needed.
It’s time for some real change. Real change means changing the CSA Constitution and by-laws. Power needs to be taken away from provincial associations and amateurs and more power needs to be given to a centralized body of professionals who can make decisions that will stick, in the best interest of Canadian soccer.