January 11, 2022
Canada Soccer announced yesterday that National Youth Club Licence holder Calgary Blizzard has had its’ licence revoked due to player recruitment infractions. Calgary Blizzard will no longer be sanctioned to play in the Alberta Youth Soccer League (AYSL), effective immediately.
According to Jason deVos, Director of Development for Canada Soccer, “the standards set forth under the Canada Soccer Youth Club Licensing Program provide clear guidance on the expected behaviours of holders of the top-level National Youth Club Licence, specifically regarding the recruitment of players for club teams in standards-based leagues”. DeVos added that “Calgary Blizzard accepted the terms of the sanctions with regard to behaviours unbecoming a National Youth Club Licence holder and as such their Licence and sanctioning for the AYSL have been removed in collaboration with Alberta Soccer and Calgary Minor Soccer Association.”
The AYSL began its’ inaugural year of play in 2020 with the 2006 and 2007 age divisions participating. The AYSL vision and mission statement is “To create a competitive development environment which provides opportunities for all participants at the highest level of amateur youth soccer in Alberta and Canada.” The loss of the NYCL does not impact the operations of the Blizzard Soccer Club outside the AYSL.
This was a serious recruiting violation. This type of recruiting does not have a place in youth soccer and damaging to the culture of soccer in Alberta. NYCL Licence holders need to adhere to and uphold the standard they have agreed to as well as focus on developing a quality organization.
With this announcement, the Alberta Soccer Association (ASA), the Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA), the Calgary Blizzard Soccer Club (Blizzard), and the Calgary West Soccer Club (CalWest) have been working diligently to find solutions that have the best interest of the players in mind. Consideration has been given to the Blizzard Teams (06/07) as well as, the other players at these age divisions, in the AYSL. The agreements are being player focused to allow the Blizzard teams to stay together with their coaches as well as not displace players on other AYSL teams. As such, the former Blizzard 2006 and 2007 teams will move over to CalWest. A huge thank you needs to be extended to Diogo Raposo and Connor Brady for working diligently to compliment the two programs for the best interest of the players.
Although this is a difficult situation, there is an opportunity for all to learn and grow from this experience.
Alberta Soccer Association