Professional Club Licensing
Canada Soccer have confirmed Professional Club Licensing ahead of the 2023 season for all 14 clubs participating in the 2023 Canadian Championship. Of note, Canadian Premier League expansion side Vancouver FC are on schedule to meet the requirements for a National 1 Professional Club Licence in advance of their season opener on 15 April.
Alongside Vancouver FC, the seven other Canadian Premier League clubs have all renewed their National 1 Professional Club Licences for 2023. Those seven clubs are Pacific FC, Calgary’s Cavalry FC, Winnipeg’s Valour FC, Forge FC Hamilton, York United FC, Atlético Ottawa, and Halifax Wanderers FC.
From Major League Soccer, Canada’s three clubs Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC and CF Montréal all hold valid National 1 Professional Club Licenses for the 2023 season and they will be begin their 2024-25 renewal process in the last quarter of this year.
Richmond’s TSS Rovers FC, Vaughan SC and FC Laval, meanwhile, have all obtained their National 2 Professional Club Licences for the 2023 season. The three semi-pro clubs are also participating in the 2023 Canadian Championship as the respective winners of League1 BC, League1 Ontario, and the Québec Premier League (Première ligue de soccer du Québec).
The Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program is designed to raise the standards of member organizations throughout the country both on and off the field toward best principles for development to improve the overall soccer system in Canada.
Launched in 2017, the Canada Soccer Professional Club Licensing Program includes the Canada Soccer Professional Club Licence and the Canada Soccer National Club Licence. The objective of the Licensing Program is to safeguard the credibility and integrity of club competitions, to improve the level of professionalism, to promote sporting values in accordance with the principles of fair play as well as safe and secure match environments, to promote transparency in the finances, ownership, and control of clubs, to share club and league best practices to further develop, and to formalize requirements for participation in national, and regional competition.
The Canada Soccer Professional Club Licence denotes that professional clubs in membership have fulfilled all the criteria as outlined by Canada Soccer for professional soccer in domestic leagues, Canadian Championship participation, and by Concacaf to be eligible clubs for Confederation competition (Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, Scotiabank Concacaf League) leading to international competition (i.e. FIFA Club World Cup).
The Canada Soccer National Club Licence is a requirement for clubs that have earned the right to compete in the Canadian Championship, with potential qualification into the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League competition on the pathway to the FIFA Club World Cup.
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