Jason de Vos, who is one of Canada's best known former players and a staunch advocate for the reform of the Canadian and Ontario Soccer Associations, has resigned from his position from the OSA's Technical Advisory Council in a surprise announcement made via his blog and Twitter account on Wednesday.
De Vos was a member of the OSA TAC since the group was founded in 2011 and stated that "we (the TAC) had real opportunity to make a positive impact on the game" and "were creating a new competition structure for youth soccer in Ontario."
One of the key elements of reform being proposed by De Vos and the OSA TAC was the creation and implementation of the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) which would be open to non-profit community clubs and for-profit private soccer academies. The OPDL was approved at a recent OSA board meeting, but their board of directors rejected allowing for-profit soccer academies to participate in the OPDL in 2014 and 2015. The inclusion of the for-profit academies was an important part of the foundation that De Vos and other members of the TAC were building in order to unite the Ontario soccer community.
De Vos made it clear in his statement that his reason for walking away is because he is not prepared to make any further commitment to an advisory council "whose advice is disregarded and whose thoroughly researched recommendations are willfully ignored by the OSA's board of directors." He also goes on to say that the Ontario soccer community does not suffer and struggle because there is a lack of technical advice, but that the governance at the highest level is fundamentally flawed. De Vos will now use his position within the media to "highlight the importance of governance reform at the provincial level."
As the battle to change the system in Ontario rages on, a similar situation closer to home involving the BC Soccer Association and the Richmond-based Total Soccer Systems Inc. continues to unfold. Earlier this year TSS Inc. and Sportstown BC Holdings filed a lawsuit in BC Supreme Court seeking a court injunction to end the partnership between the BCSA and the Vancouver Whitecaps. TSS Inc., which is a for-profit soccer academy, has not been granted full membership by the BCSA and they believe the partnership between the BCSA and the Whitecaps is "an unfair barrier to its business." A recap of this story can be found here.
- additional research for this story has been generously contributed by 86Forever editor Rob R. Scott
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