Group Reportedly Working to Launch Ottawa CPL Team

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A group is reportedly looking to launch an Ottawa Canadian Premier League team as early as 2020, potentially filling a void of professional soccer in the market.

Ottawa was home to USL Championship’s Ottawa Fury FC through the 2019 season, but ownership group Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) announced in November that it was suspending the club’s operations. Sanctioning issues were cited as a factor in that decision, as the club needed approval from Canada Soccer, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and CONCACAF to return to USL Championship. Though Canada Soccer signed off on a one-year sanctioning to cover 2020, it had not been granted by U.S. Soccer or CONCACAF.

The market may soon become home to a CPL team, as a separate group is reportedly exploring the launch of a club in that circuit as early as this coming season. There is not a finalized plan at this point, however, and any effort to launch the club in time for the 2020 season would have to come together quickly. More from the Ottawa Citizen:

It’s believed a major partner in the new Ottawa soccer organization would come from Spain. While it may mean nothing, it’s worth noting that Atletico Madrid partnered with Ottawa South United in a soccer camp here in 2016. FC Barcelona will also host a couple of soccer camps in Ottawa this year.

Fury FC ran out of patience with soccer’s governing bodies. Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which had owned Fury FC since its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League in 2014, pulled the plug on the team when it couldn’t get sanctioning to participate in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship this year. Unlike a year ago, when they were ready to take the battle to a Court of Arbitration for Sport, Fury FC walked away with the OSEG collective wanting out.

All professional soccer clubs based in Canada need sanctioning from Canada Soccer, the United States Soccer Federation and Concacaf to play in a league that’s based in the U.S. In 2018, the year preceding the inaugural CPL season, there was a strong desire for Fury FC to become a member of the CPL. Fury FC, instead, decided to remain in the USL.

But this is different. While TD Place would provide the venue for the professional soccer team, OSEG, as a group, wouldn’t be involved in ownership. And in many ways a partnership with the CPL at this time makes sense.

The Canadian Premier League began play last season with seven teams. After suspending Ottawa Fury FC’s operations, OSEG sold USL Championship franchise rights to former NASL squad Miami FC, with the team planning to resume play at Riccardo Silva Stadium for the 2020 season.

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