August 30, 2003 CPSL news from CPSL website
CPSL PRESIDENT: THE TRUTH CAME OUT
The games will go on. That was the decision handed down when The Honourable Mr. Justice de Lobe Panet at the Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa on Friday dismissed outright the application for an interim injunction filed by the Ottawa Wizards to prevent the Open Canada Cup from being played in London during the Labour Day weekend.
The Wizards had sought a court injunction to put on hold the remainder of the competition which started on May 17 with 22 teams and will culminate this Labour Day Monday with the final game.
The weekend games kicked off as scheduled with a wild card game between London City and Durham Flames at the Cove Road ground in London, an 8.30 pm kickoff and London City advanced to the semi-finals with a 4-1 victory over the Flames. The Durham Flames team bus was on its way to London at noon Friday without the team knowing if their opening game would be played.
The Canadian Professional Soccer League in contesting the application was represented in court by Stan Adamson, the league administrator and Cary Kaplan, the CPSL’s management consultant.
Vincent Ursini, the league’s president contacted during an overseas business trip following the hearing, was delighted with the outcome.
“The truth came out and the court acknowledged the effort made by the CPSL to accommodate Ottawa Wizards in a number of issues over a long period of time, but they were never satisfied,” he explained.
“We have consumed a lot of valuable time and energy attending to this and, hopefully, we can get back to the game of soccer and continue to develop what we believe to be a league Canadians will eventually be proud of.”
Ursini went on to say: “I commend Stan (Adamson) and Cary (Kaplan), our lawyer, Ira Greenspoon and others who put so much effort into winning the case which I understand took more than four hours to be heard at the court in Ottawa.”
The Wizards were taken out of the Open Canada Cup finals on August 20 after failing to provide confirmation to the league they would participate following repeated threats to not play the games as scheduled.
The Ottawa franchise was earlier critical of the CPSL’s competition format, the financial requirements for hosting the games and the lack of opportunity for input by the Wizards.
In fact, Justice Panet found at the conclusion of the 4-hour hearing the Wizards had been invited to provide input, but failed to take part at a scheduled meeting.
Evidence showed that Ottawa Wizards had every opportunity to host the finals, but would not agree to the league’s terms. The Wizards would not agree to the structure of the competition, even though they had been given more byes to the final round and had, therefore, played less games than any other team.
The league explained to the court that to agree to even more demands from Ottawa Wizards this team would have to be considered somewhat autonomous without regard for the needs of the remaining 12 teams.
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