Ottawa Fury FC compelled to droop operations over league 'politics …

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Ottawa’s professional soccer team has announced it will be suspending operations and will not be competing in the USL championships in 2020.

In a letter posted to the Ottawa Fury FC website, team president John Pugh says the decision was due not to the quality of the team, but rather to league politics.

About Ottawa
Ottawa ( (listen), ; French pronunciation: ​[ɔtawa]) is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 934,243 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. In June 2019, the City of Ottawa estimated it had surpassed a population of 1 million.Founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada. Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area. The city name “Ottawa” was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of which is derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning “to trade”.Ottawa has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, and numerous national museums. Ottawa has the highest standard of living in the nation and low unemployment.

Ottawa Fury FC forced to suspend operations over league 'politics …

About forced
Forced is a single-player and co-op action role-playing game developed by BetaDwarf, released in October 2013 for Windows, OS X and Linux through the Steam platform as well as Wii U. It is about gladiators fighting for their freedom in a fantasy arena and are assisted by a spirit-like character called Balfus. Gameplay consists of selecting a weapon class and abilities to combat the various enemies of each arena, while solving puzzles using the help of Balfus. BetaDwarf was formed by a small group of students in 2011, who began developing the game in an unused classroom in Aalborg University – Copenhagen, Denmark. They were removed months later and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign involving an Imgur picture which documented their progress. Forced received moderate to favorable reviews with most critics praising its competitive gameplay and puzzle-system. The game’s weak plot, technical glitches and excess difficulty were the negative highlights. It won the Level Up 2013 Intel award and BetaDwarf received the Danish Developer Of The Year (2013) for it.


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“Why would an established team which made the playoffs in the 2019 USL Championship season, had the 2nd best season in its six-year history, developed a loyal fan base and won a league award for its team and game day operations be suspending operations? Politics,” Pugh wrote in the letter.

Ottawa Fury FC forced to suspend operations over league 'politics …

Pugh went on to say that the team’s participation in the USL championships hinged on the approval of Canada Soccer, the US Soccer Federation and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

“Despite our best efforts over a period of many months, we were unable to obtain full sanctioning and since schedules must be developed, players signed and tickets sold, we simply ran out of time,” Pugh wrote.

The team was in a similar position last year, when it had to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to be able to play in the USL championships. CONCACAF had considered not giving the Ottawa club the green light to continue play in the U.S. league when a Canadian alternative  — the new Canadian Premier League — was set to start earlier this year.


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Ottawa had been widely expected to be the CPL’s eighth team. But the Fury, while saying it supported the idea of a Canadian league, said last September that it planned to stick with the tried-and-tested USL, at least for the 2019 season.

Mark Goudie, president and CEO of Fury’s parent company, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, said at a press conference on Friday that the team started the sanctioning process for the 2020 championships in March to avoid any complications. But as of Friday, he said, the team has seen no indication that sanctioning will take place.

Goudie said he believed that the governing bodies were intentionally “dragging their feet” so the team would miss the Nov. 1 USL deadline for scheduling for championships.

Goudie called it a “sad day” for the team and for the fans who have been with the team since 2014.

He also thanked the USL for taking up their cause, despite not being able to hold out any longer to allow them to play in the championships.

—With files from The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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