Canadian Soccer League is alive and kicking 0
The CSL (Canadian Soccer League) is alive and well. This is a semi-pro league operating primarily in Ontario with one team in Quebec. A record 16 teams will form the Canadian Soccer League Division One for the upcoming 2012 season, with 13 of last season's teams returning, to be joined by three new teams from last year's Division Two.
Regrettably, Capital City of Ottawa failed to renew its league membership for the upcoming campaign, which will get underway the weekend of May 5 and conclude at the end of October.
Why CCFC will not be returning is not totally clear.
"I have a great deal of pride in what Capital City was able to accomplish on and off the field in 2011 and I don't want to see that end. However, we are not convinced we can accomplish all of our goals in the Canadian Soccer League at this time," said team president Neil Malhotra.
There is also the thought that with the major announcement in July of last year that Ottawa had secured an NASL Franchise that this well may have played a part in CCFC's decision. The NASL is second division soccer in North America, and will bring excellent and exciting soccer to Ottawa. The only level above it is MLS (Major League soccer). However it is a disappointing decision from CCFC as they played some entertaining soccer last year and were well supported corporately as well by fans.
To some degree, this 'here today, gone tomorrow' is bad for the sport, suggests instability and can make it harder to build fan bases in the future. That being said the NASL is a totally different level and is recognized as such. Watching an Ottawa team playing against other North American teams in the NASL will be something to really look forward to.
World Cup qualifying for Canada
Canada starts its second round of World Cup qualifying with games in June. The challenge starts away from home in Cuba on June 8, and then a home game at BMO field in Toronto against Honduras on June 12. Other home games are against Panama on September 7 and then Cuba on October 12.
Canada will need all the support it can get from its fans, and to that end Canadian coach Stephen Hart wants to see a sea of red at BMO field for these home games. Too often fans from the opposing countries turn up in droves and have been known to drown out the Canadian supporters. This is something the Canadian coach does not want to see this time around.
An alcohol free World Cup?
"If you don't do something about it, you are starting to bury your head in the sand a little bit because it needs addressing. You might be better off saying don't come." These words were spoken by English Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards after learning that Qatar is considering a ban on alcohol at the 2022 World Cup. Yep, not going to a World Cup because there is no booze. Imagine that!
Whether you can get a plastic bottle of 'wet air' American beer for $15 is neither here nor there. Who wants to sit in an air conditioned hotel for 2 weeks watching games on TV and going to the odd game in the blistering desert heat?
FIFA has made some unbelievably odd decisions in its time but this one takes the cake. My prediction is that the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar, but hopefully in the US - where it should have been awarded to in the first place.
Death on the pitch
Four weeks after Bolton's Fabrice Muamba improbably survived a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an English Cup match, a similar scenario has played out in Italy - but this time without the happy ending. Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini collapsed on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest in the 31st minute of a Serie B match against Pescara.
Medical workers attempted to resuscitate the 25-year-old on the pitch, but, according to a cardiologist at the hospital to which Morosini was taken, he was dead upon arrival and never regained consciousness. The match was abandoned. A defibrillator was used on Morosini on the pitch, but the ambulance was held up by a police car blocking its path. Windows were eventually broken on the police car in order to move it and make way for the ambulance.
Morosini, a former Italian youth national team player, was on loan at Livorno from First division Serie A side Udinese. The Serie A club informed Italian football's governing body that they would not be able to play their scheduled match against Inter on Saturday evening after such a devastating shock, and, in fact, all Italian soccer games were cancelled.
A great passes on
Former Real Madrid captain Jose María Zarraga has died at the age of 81. He helped Real to a record five straight European Cups between 1956 and 1960.
Quote of the week
"A lot of the players didn't turn up so we expected to lose but not by that much" - 60-year-old Nova 2010 FC player Lewis Parker bemoans the crushing 58-0 chastening that his nine-man side was handed by 10-man local rivals Wheel Power FC in the Torbay Sunday League in the UK. Brothers Robbie and Stuart Bowker managed to score 28 between them.
Remember, whatever your sport, to win the game is great, to play the game is greater, but to love the game is the greatest of all.
If you have any comments on the beautiful game please contact me at email@example.com, or call 613 587 4856.
Phil Cottrell is a regular contributor to The Daily Observer from his tranquility base in Whitewater