Participant health and safety the main consideration in decision
Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships, which include the U-15 Cup, U-17 Cup, Jubilee and Challenge Trophy, as well as the Eastern and Western Masters competitions, have been cancelled for 2021 in respect of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic related to participant health and safety.
After extensive deliberation and a comprehensive review of feedback from its Member Associations (Provincial/Territorial Soccer Associations), Competitions Committee, and our host Local Organizing Committees, Canada Soccer’s Competitions Committee made the difficult decision to recommend the cancellation of the Toyota National Championships, which brings together more than 5,000 participants across multiple venues hosted by local organizing committees each year. Canada Soccer’s Board of Directors approved the committee’s recommendation and voted to cancel the competition.
Factoring primarily into this decision are the significant ongoing concerns for the health and safety of all participants due to the issues related to the possibility of COVID-19 transmission during the competition. In assessing the risks and potential mitigation strategies it was established that it would pose a demanding logistical and financial challenge to the participating teams and Local Organizing Committees to ensure compliance with all required protocols.
The challenges for Member Associations to nominate Provincial and Territorial representation teams in each competition while dealing with varying degrees of COVID-19 restrictions on their local competition structures and planning challenges for the local organizing committees also contributed to the cancellation.
Despite the positive news of improvement across the country, the potential COVID-19 health and safety issues inherent with bringing together thousands of youth-aged participants to attend the Toyota National Championships during an ongoing pandemic made clear the decision to not move forward with the planning and hosting of the 2021 competition.
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.