OTTAWA WIZARDS OUT OF OPEN CANADA CUP
Last year’s CPSL champion Ottawa Wizards have been removed from the final round of the Open Canada Cup following a decision handed down by the league’s board of governors.
The league has been plagued for several weeks now by the Wizards’ expressed dissatisfaction of the CPSL’s handling of the competition, the pairing of the teams and the locations being considered for the final games. These games were eventually awarded to London and are scheduled for the upcoming Labour Day holiday weekend, August 29 to Monday, September 1.
The Wizards also threatened to boycott the finals and seek a court injunction to prevent the games being played.
League games and the playoffs, in which unbeaten Ottawa Wizards are expected to be prominent, are not affected by the Open Canada Cup decision.
Due to the uncertainty of the Ottawa team’s intentions while facing a busy promotional campaign, the league asked Ottawa to confirm its place in the finals by 3 pm Thursday.
Ottawa failed to meet the deadline and the team was removed from the schedule.
The Open Canada Cup—open to all 13 teams in the Canadian Professional Soccer League and the strongest senior amateurs who wish to take part, started with a total 22 teams back on May 16.
This was reduced to six for the final weekend—and is now down to five. The winner will receive a cheque for $10,000.
The Open Canada Cup is played independent of the regular season league schedule and playoffs.
CPSL president Vincent Ursini explained his frustration of Ottawa not being more accepting of the way the competition is designed.
“We structure this competition with all participating teams in mind and while we listened carefully to all suggested improvements from Ottawa Wizards, and made some concessions, there comes a time when we must move on.” he said.
The final round of games to be played at the Cove Road home ground of London City, now looks like this:
Friday, August 29, 8.30 p.m. Wild Card Game: London City vs. Durham Flames
Sunday, August 31, 5.30 p.m. Semi-final: St. Catharines Wolves vs. Metro Lions
Sunday, August 31, 8.30 p.m. Semi-final: Kanata vs. London City or Durham Flames
Monday, September 1, 3.45 p.m. OPEN CANADA CUP FINAL