CONCACAF typically does not comment publicly on sanctioning matters, but due to the lack of clarity regarding the state of the process and the unilateral statements from various parties in regard to the Ottawa Fury Football Club (Ottawa Fury) participating in the 2019 season of the United Soccer League (USL), we would like to clarify the following:
- Under international sanctioning rules, clubs that are affiliated to an Association may only join competitions in another Association’s territory under exceptional circumstances. For the sanctioning of such play in our region, approval must be given by CONCACAF and FIFA;
- CONCACAF to date has not received a formal request from any party to consider sanctioning the participation of the Ottawa Fury in the 2019 season of the USL, despite public announcements by Ottawa Fury that it would be doing so;
- In the fall of 2018, after unilateral public statements made by Ottawa Fury and before any sanctioning application was made to any governing body, CONCACAF clearly advised the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) of its concerns regarding this matter. A further written correspondence to the CSA followed in November, providing guidance on our view that as it stands to date, we do not see exceptional circumstances, given the launch of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) for the 2019 season.
As the governing body for international football in North, Central America and the Caribbean, we are committed to govern on behalf of all of our 41 Associations and key stakeholders.