Statement from Canada Soccer
Posted on 20 December 2019 in Canadian Soccer Association
Canada Soccer accepts the findings of the Sport and Law Strategy Group December 2019 report related to Vancouver Whitecaps Safe Sport Practices which included a review of the handling of the removal of the club’s Head Coach who also served as Canada Soccer’s 2008 Women’s National Team U-20 Head Coach.
As outlined in the report, Canada Soccer took immediate action when concerns were raised about the Women’s National Team U-20 Head Coach in September 2008. In cooperation with the Vancouver Whitecaps, a new joint investigation was initiated with the same investigator who had been retained by the Vancouver Whitecaps following initial concerns being raised about the Head Coach in May 2008 specific to his role with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The subsequent report’s recommendations were followed which led to the Head Coach not continuing in his role with either the Vancouver Whitecaps or Canada Soccer.
In step with Sport Canada and our peer National Sporting and Multi-sport Organizations, Canada Soccer continues to build on existing programs and policies through the introduction of the Safe Sport Roster which is a comprehensive approach to ensuring that Safe Sport is fundamental to programs from the grassroots to the National Team. Through a suite of programs and policies, Canada Soccer is making a long-term commitment to eliminating harassment, discrimination and abuse from our sport. With the endorsement of every leader of our provincial and territorial member associations, we’re working proactively to create the best possible conditions for everyone involved to get the most out of their soccer experience.
The approach includes an anonymous, third-party operated whistleblower hotline, minimum certifications for coaches across the country including industry standard training from the Respect in Sport Group. In addition, soccer programming from coast-to-coast-to-coast will be bolstered by a National Club Licensing Program that enshrines safe sport initiatives in a standards-based club development program and National Soccer Registry designed to provide data-driven insights and solicit anonymous feedback in circumstances that merit investigation.