After some uncertainty, Ottawa Fury FC announced Friday that it will receive sanctioning to play in USL Championship next season, pending FIFA approval.
Fury FC announced this fall that it would return to USL Championship–the Division II circuit under the USL umbrella–in 2019 as its lone Canadian club, rather than compete in the upstart Canadian Premier League. Both the Canada Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation confirmed the club’s return to the circuit, but CONCACAF–the governing body for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean–did not sanction Fury FC for 2019 play in USL Championship, reportedly on the grounds that Canada now offers a comparable circuit. That decision had left questions about the club’s 2019 status and, with the regular season quickly approaching, Fury FC announced this week that it would seek relief from the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
However, the club revealed on Friday that it has been informed by Soccer Canada that it has received sanctioning from CONCACAF to compete in USL Championship next season, subject to approval from FIFA. As a result of this decision, Fury FC indicated there is no longer need for relief from CAS.
“Now that we’re sanctioned by CONCACAF, the US Soccer Federation and Canada Soccer to play in USL Championship in 2019, we will accelerate preparations for the 2019 season,” Mark Goudie, President and CEO of Ottawa Fury FC’s parent company, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), said in a press statement. “Too much negative energy has already been expended on this. I hope that we (starting with me) can now get back to supporting Canadian soccer and each other, regardless of what level or pitch we play on or badge we wear… except for the two-hour period we might play against each other, of course.”
“Julian (Ottawa Fury FC GM Julian de Guzman) can now get back to completing our roster for 2019 and we look forward to our mission to bring playoff soccer back to Ottawa come next fall,” Goudie added.
Fury FC will be on the road when the USL Championship regular-season begins in March, with the home opener against Nashville SC slated for April 6 at TD Place.
Image courtesy Ottawa Fury FC.