Who is Omur Sezerman? Aug 25, 2003 Author: Soccer Online - It's Called Futbol The London Free Press calls him “bombastic”. London City owner Harry Gauss calls him “obnoxious.” The CPSL Administrator and Media Director accuses him of “plaguing” the league with his complaints. His name is Omur Sezerman, and he is founder of Oz Optics, a successful fibre-optics company based in Carp. He is also the owner of the Ottawa Wizards, a soccer club that in two and half seasons in the Canadian Professional Soccer League has usurped the Toronto Olympians, St. Catharines Roma Wolves et al. as the dominant team in the semi-pro loop. Sezerman has upped the ante on his fellow CPSL owners by spending lavishly (relative to his fellow CPSL owners) on his club. His OZ Optics Stadium soccer pitches boast the finest grass fields in the country. A luxurious guest quarters sits adjacent to the playing field where one can watch the Wizards spin their magic from the porch. An indoor facility, the OZ Dome, adjoins Sezerman’s offices. He has brought in talented players from abroad such as Malawi national team star Peter Mponda. Sezerman does not skimp on his Wizards. The maverick owner has spared no expense to ensure his team produces on the field, and, to date, his players have done just that. In 2002, they won the Eastern Conference league title, the League and the Rogers Cup playoffs – the CPSL’s triple crown – and so far in 2003 the Wizards are undefeated in league play. A repeat triple-crown performance, however, may be out of reach for the Wizards. The CPSL league office announced last week that the Wizards have been removed from the Open Canada Cup competition (formerly known as the Canada Cup or League Cup) for failing to announce their intention to play in the final round of the competition by Thursday’s deadline. (See previous Soccer Online article: Stan Adamson Interview) The CPSL awarded the competition, which will be played over the coming Labour Day weekend, to London City. The Wizards did submit a bid to host the competition, but Sezerman and the league’s competition committee were unable to agree to financial and scheduling terms. According to the league, when Sezerman learned that London would be hosting the Open Cup, he informed the league that the Wizards would not attend. On Thursday, after the CPSL announced that the Wizards had been removed from the tournament, Sezerman countered that he would obtain an injunction to halt the Open Canada Cup. He has also publicly stated that he planned to sue the league and certain individuals associated with the league. Bombastic? Obnoxious? Omur Sezerman has heard it all before. Litigious? A bully? Yes, he has taken the CSA, OSA and Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association to court, as was reported in the London Free Press. What that article failed to mention was that the court ruled in Sezerman’s favour in that particular case. There may be many individuals and groups involved in Canadian soccer that would like to challenge the governing bodies, as Sezerman did, but lack the means to do so. However, The Wizards’ owner admits that his confrontational actions have not made him many friends in the community…or in the CPSL boardroom.
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