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FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Statement from National Organising Committee Canada 2015

Statement from Victor Montagliani, Chair of the National Organising Committee and President of Canada Soccer

From one FIFA Women's World Cup to the next, the National Organising Committee for Canada 2015 would like to congratulate France on their successful bid for 2019. We know France will be terrific hosts and carry forth the momentum in growing the women's game around the world.

Posted on 19 March 2015

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decides turf claim doesn’t merit early hearing

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has refused to expedite the hearing of the claim about the use of turf in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™. The Tribunal noted that the applicants themselves had failed to bring their claim in a timely manner, and that FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association should have an opportunity to fully respond to the applicants’ allegations. The decision recognized that the case raised serious questions about the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to deal with the matter, and whether the order sought by the applicants would be available in any event.

View the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal's interim decision to the applicants' request for expedited hearing

The Canadian Soccer Association is pleased with the Tribunal’s decision. “We continue to move forward with our preparations for what will be a world-class competition played on consistent, top quality FIFA 2-Star certified football turf surfaces,” remarked Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association.

The Tribunal indicated in its decision that it was prepared to offer the parties an opportunity for an early mediation. The Canadian Soccer Association has advised the Tribunal that it is not willing to participate in an early mediation in this matter.

Posted on 7 November 2014

Statement from the Canadian Soccer Association

The Canadian Soccer Association categorically denies that it engaged in any retaliation against players who filed complaints under the Human Rights Code against the Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA regarding the use of turf at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM. No such threats were made and any suggestion that Canadian Soccer Association officials engaged in any wrongdoing is completely baseless.

Posted on 28 October 2014

Canadian Soccer Association files response with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

On Thursday 9 October 2014, the Canadian Soccer Association has filed a response to the application by the players on national teams participating in FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015TM requesting an expedited hearing before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on the use of football turf for the competition.

View the response the Canadian Soccer Association filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

The Canadian Soccer Association opposes the application to expedite the hearing in this matter on the basis that the complainants – only 7 out of 550 players, none of whom are residents of Ontario or under contract with a Canadian team – have been aware of the type of surface that had been selected for the competition for as long as three years yet have chosen to wait to the last minute to exercise their rights and bring a complaint forward, without providing justification for the delay.

The Canadian Soccer Association is prepared to vigorously defend its position and believes the complaint is entirely without merit; it should not however have to do so in an expedited process.

The use of high quality turf is integral to soccer in Canada, and the suggestion that having matches played on first class football turf rather than grass would be discrimination based on gender trivializes that important human right.

Should the complaint proceed, the Canadian Soccer Association will demonstrate that there is no proven increased risk to players from the use of football turf over grass, as supported by numerous independent studies. Moreover, a string of studies have repeatedly confirmed with scientific evidence that there is no difference in the playing patterns when played on quality-controlled turf, contrary to arguments put forward in the complaint.

Quality football turf is an essential component of this competition and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM National Organizing Committee’s efforts to promote and grow the beautiful game in Canada. As a standard practice, an independent consultant joined the FIFA delegation in Canada over the past two weeks to inspect the six stadiums' playing surfaces to ensure they meet the FIFA 2-Star football turf requirements. Additionally, the National Organizing Committee has engaged a certified testing agency, which is currently testing all stadium pitches to ensure that the performance standards of the FIFA 2-Star programme are met in all venues. All certification steps for stadium pitches are expected to be completed by early 2015.

Hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup will give Canada the opportunity to further develop women's football both domestically and internationally, and the Canadian Soccer Association is proud to be giving back to Canadians and women's sport in a substantial and impactful way.

The Canadian Soccer Association has retained Joseph Arvay Q.C., a prominent constitutional law attorney experienced in civil liberties and human rights claims, as counsel on this matter.

Posted on 10 October 2014

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