Fleming Named To CONCACAF Hall of Fame

Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Soccer Association is pleased and proud to announce President Jim Fleming has been named to the CONCACAF Hall of Fame and will be inducted in a special ceremony on April 19 in Miami prior to the CONCACAF Congress.



Mr. Fleming is a highly-respected figure in the international soccer community and his accomplishments on behalf of Canadian soccer and in the CONCACAF confederation are extensive. It has been under his leadership that Canada has enjoyed its greatest success on the world soccer stage, notably its participation in the 1986 World Cup and Canada’s Gold Cup triumph in 2000.

Ottawa, Ontario – The Canadian Soccer Association is pleased and proud to announce President Jim Fleming has been named to the CONCACAF Hall of Fame and will be inducted in a special ceremony on April 19 in Miami prior to the CONCACAF Congress.



Mr. Fleming is a highly-respected figure in the international soccer community and his accomplishments on behalf of Canadian soccer and in the CONCACAF confederation are extensive. It has been under his leadership that Canada has enjoyed its greatest success on the world soccer stage, notably its participation in the 1986 World Cup and Canada’s Gold Cup triumph in 2000.



“I am delighted to be joining such an illustrious group of people in the Hall of Fame and truly appreciate this honour,” said Fleming, who in 1987 was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and in 1991 was awarded a Life Membership in the CSA.



Born in 1935 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr. Fleming has been involved in Canadian soccer since his arrival in Canada in 1968 as a referee. In 1970, he entered the “Boardroom” when he was elected Chair of the Edmonton Referee Association. Mr. Fleming held presidential positions with both the Edmonton District and Alberta Soccer Associations throughout the 1970s and in 1980, he was elected to the Executive Committee of The Canadian Soccer Association for the first time.



In 1982, Mr. Fleming’s soccer career leaped forward when he was elected President of The Canadian Association and remained in office for a four-year term until 1986. It was during this time that CSA enjoyed its most successful run of international results ever, beginning in 1984 when it finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. This laid a foundation for the Men’s World Cup Team to have its best results in FIFA World Cup qualifying when in 1985 it won the CONCACAF Championship and qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.



Following this, Mr. Fleming assumed the role of Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the FIFA World U-16 Championship, Canada 1987, which was staged in front of sell out crowds in Toronto, Montreal, Saint John and St. John’s in July of that year.



Mr. Fleming’s abilities and accomplishments did not go unnoticed and in the last 20 years he has held multiple positions with various international bodies. Throughout the 1980s, Mr. Fleming was a member of multiple committees of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), including the Technical and Olympic Committees. In addition, during this time period, he also served FIFA as an International Match Commissioner and supervised the staging of multiple matches throughout the Confederation.



In 1986, he was elected as a Member of the Executive Committee of CONCACAF and then was promoted to Senior Vice President of CONCACAF for an eight year period beginning in 1990, serving as the ‘second-in-command’ to CONCACAF President Jack Warner. In 1994, Mr. Fleming was appointed to the FIFA Appeals Committee and in 1998, was requested to Chair CONCACAF’s Appeals Committee.



In 1998, Mr. Fleming returned to the CSA and was re-elected President of the Association, a position he holds to this day. Since that time, he has worked on several initiatives including the widely recognized ‘Blueprint for Success’ which committed the Association to long-term financial planning and programming for all levels of the sport. The adoption of this plan also saw the injection into these developmental programs of multi-millions of new dollars for the sport from its membership. The Blueprint was unanimously approved by the Membership in the fall of 2000.



The performance of the Association’s Men’s World Cup Team has again seen a resurgence with Canada winning its most important Championship since qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 1986. Canada’s victory in the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup stunned the international soccer world and drew accolades from all corners of the globe. Recently, the team followed up this victory with a highly commendable third place finish in the 2002 edition of the Gold Cup.



During his tenure as President, Mr. Fleming has also given top priority to women’s soccer. The CSA’s Women’s World Cup Team is generally recognized as one of the top squads in the world today with recent victories over many of the best teams in the world, including the USA and the PR China. He has also committed the CSA to hosting the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship later this year and once again has assumed the position of Chair of this exciting event.



Mr. Fleming has also established a new partnership with the Government of Canada which has seen the CSA formally create a new Canadian Soccer Foundation designed to benefit the sport in Canada over the long term by creating new financial streams for the game to exploit. In addition, new long term plans to bid to host the FIFA U-20 World Youth Championship in 2007 as well as bidding to host the FIFA World Cup itself when it is next allocated to our Confederation are top priorities he has established. Finally, he has created a formal working group committed to launching a new professional soccer league in Canada by 2004. The agenda is, literally, an exciting one for the Association for years to come.



Mr. Fleming and his wife Kathleen immigrated to Canada from Edinburgh, Scotland in 1968 and assumed many positions with escalating levels of responsibility with the Government of Alberta. He retired from the provincial civil service in 2000. Mr. Fleming has four children and 13 grandchildren and he and Kathleen recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.



Mr. Fleming and fellow 2002 inductee Jacques Rugard of Guadeloupe will join a distinguished group which includes FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, former FIFA President Dr. Joao Havelange and Costa Rican Football Federation President and FIFA Executive Member Issac Sasso Sasso.

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