Canada Soccer Hall of Fame
The Canada Soccer Hall of Fame will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team in 2021 across a series of digital initiatives including a special induction class to be announced in early May. The celebration will continue with weekly features in May and June ahead of Canada Day 2021, which will mark 35 years since the first Women’s National Team camp in Winnipeg in 1986, then continue with a further spotlight on the program’s legacy during Women’s History Month in October.
The celebration coincides with Canada Soccer’s fourth-consecutive participation in the Olympic Games, with Canada one of only five nations in the world to have qualified for the past four Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments since 2008. Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team are also the only women’s program in the world to win medals at the last two Olympic Games, notably also the first Canadian team in any sport to win medals at back-to-back Summer Olympic Games in more than 100 years.
The Canada Soccer Hall of Fame celebrates the individual and team achievements as well as traditions in the game of soccer in Canada. The Canada Soccer Hall of Fame captures and preserves the history of Canadian soccer, honouring athletes and builders of the game and serving as a library for editorial, promotional, and educational needs.
In light of the changed dates for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame has shifted its planned legends class to honour candidates from 1980s and 1990s women’s soccer from 2023 to May 2021. Since 2017, these biennial classes honour Canadian footballers who played in the era before the Hall of Fame’s first induction class in 2000.
The special 2021 class is an integral part of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame’s priority to establish equity within the Modern Canadian Players category from both the Men’s and Women’s National Team Programs. After Canada Soccer established its first National Championship in 1982 and its Women’s National Team in 1986, the first FIFA Women’s World Cup was played in 1991. Since that time, football at the very highest level has provided the same number of starting positions in the international game for both Men’s and Women’s National Teams. Under the same premise for Canadian players from the 1990s forward, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame will honour an equal number of players from both the Men’s National Team and Women’s National Team.
The Canada Soccer Hall of Fame honours Canadian players that have played the game with excellence at the international and club level. To be eligible for the nomination list, a player must have played professional, semi-professional, major amateur, and/or international football for a minimum of 10 years, unless a special exception is granted. To date, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame has honoured 129 players, 13 coaches/managers, 10 referees, and 42 builders.
In respect to the ongoing global pandemic, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame has postponed voting on its other categories in 2021, notably the Modern Canadian Players category (for players who retired between 2008 and 2017) and the Builders, Coaches & Referees category. Of importance, Canada Soccer plans to host Hall of Fame celebrations for its most recent Class of 2019 and Class of 2020 inductees once it is safe to do so. Those celebrations will include former players Randee Hermus, Karina LeBlanc, Kevin McKenna and Brittany Timko Baxter as well as Class of 2020 builder inductee Bob Sayer.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021
As part of International Women’s Day, Canada Soccer celebrates our early adoption and support of the women’s game and system-wide investment made as a federation in our Women’s National Team Program. Established in 1986, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team have played over 400 international “A” matches while the Women’s National Team Program has featured more than 900 players from the Youth National Teams to the National Team.
As part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Legacy, Canada Soccer directly supported the development of professional opportunities for women’s soccer by co-founding the National Women’s Soccer Leagues along with Mexico and the United States, with already 40 Canadian players featured across the league’s first eight seasons from 2013 to 2020. Also part of the Canada 2015 Legacy to support Canada’s best youth players, Canada Soccer established the Regional EXCEL and Super EXCEL Centres from coast to coast across Canada, with already more than 500 youth players featured in the program since 2013.
OLYMPIC MEDAL WINNERS & CONCACAF CHAMPIONS
Canada are two-time Olympic bronze medal winners (2012 and 2016) and two-time Concacaf champions (1998 and 2010). In all, Canada have participated in seven consecutive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ (1995 to 2019) and three consecutive editions of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament (2008 to 2016). At Rio 2016, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team were the first Canadian Olympic team to win back-to-back medals at a summer Olympic Games in more than a century.
Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Youth Teams, meanwhile, have won four Concacaf youth titles: the 2004 and 2008 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, and the 2014 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship. Canada have qualified for seven editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (including a silver medal at Canada 2002) and all six editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup (including a fourth-place finish at Uruguay 2018).
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.