Jim Fleming, a Canada Soccer Life Member, Canada Soccer Hall of Fame honoured member and Canada Soccer Past President, has passed away at age 87. Mr. Fleming was Canada Soccer’s President from 1982 to 1986 and then again from 1998 to 2002. He also served on the Concacaf Executive Committee from 1986 to 1998, including an eight-year period as Senior Vice President from 1990 to 1998.
Mr. Fleming was honoured by the Concacaf Hall of Fame in 2002 and also received the FIFA Order of Merit that same year. He was honoured as an Alberta Soccer Life Member in 1987 and was a recipient of Canada Soccer’s Aubrey Sanford Meritorious Service Award in 1997. Before serving as Canada Soccer President, he served as President of Alberta Soccer from 1975 to 1980.
During his first tenure as Canada Soccer President, he oversaw the hiring of Men’s National Team Head Coach Tony Waiters in 1982 after which Canada qualified for the Olympic Games in 1984 and won the Concacaf Championship in 1985 to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Mexico 1986. He was also there for the amalgamation of the Canadian Youth Soccer Association into Canada Soccer in 1982 and the inauguration of Canada Soccer’s first Women’s National Championship that same year.
Said Fleming in 1985, “I am very happy for the players and coach Tony Waiters in reaching (the FIFA World Cup in) Mexico. All of them overcame trials and tribulations in magnificent fashion in the qualifying rounds. In short, I am a very proud Canadian.”
During his second tenure as Canada Soccer President, the Women’s National Team won the Concacaf Women’s Championship in 1998 and the Men’s National Team won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2000. He oversaw the hiring of Men’s National Team Head Coach Holger Osieck in 1998, who led Canada to the Concacaf Gold Cup title and qualified Canada for the FIFA Confederations Cup Korea/Japan 2001. A year later, he oversaw the hiring of Women’s National Team Head Coach Even Pellerud, who just a few months later debuted a 16-year old striker by the name of Christine Sinclair and helped Canada finish in fourth place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003.
During his tenure at Concacaf, he was there for the first Concacaf Women’s Championship in 1991 and the first Concacaf Gold Cup that same year. He also served as Chairman of the Concacaf Appeals Committee, served on the FIFA Appeals Committee, served on the FIFA Olympic Organising Committee, and served on the Appeals Committee for the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002.
In Canada, he served as Chairman of the National Organising Committee for the FIFA U-16 World Tournament Canada 1987 and served on the National Organising Committee for the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship Canada 2002.
Born on 28 February 1935 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr. Fleming moved to Canada with his wife Kathleen in 1968 after which he worked at the Government of Alberta for more than 30 years. He passed away in Edmonton, Alberta on Thursday 17 November 2022 and was survived by his children Sean, Anne, Paul and Angela. He was predeceased by his wife Kathleen of 60 years who passed away in 2016.
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