Internal bickering in ASA board may jeopardize summer soccer

An image that could be missed - Last summer’s soccer excitement may be something that both local teams and the parents of players will miss unless the internal turf battles among board members of the Alberta Soccer Association are not resolved by early spring.

An image that could be missed - Last summer’s soccer excitement may be something that both local teams and the parents of players will miss unless the internal turf battles among board members of the Alberta Soccer Association are not resolved by early spring.

The internal squabbles within the Alberta Soccer Association (ASA) that almost derailed the minor soccer league last summer are again threatening to burst into a battle among factions, jeopardizing next summer’s soccer games.

Kevin Klys, president of Stettler Minor Soccer has recently circulated a letter to stakeholders in the Stettler area explaining the developments and the way Central Alberta Soccer Association (CASA) would like to have the problems resolved by restructuring the governance of the Alberta Soccer Association.

“Basically what we are trying to do at this point is educate all members of CASA in regard to what the situation is with the Alberta Soccer Association,” said Klys.

Asked whether the current state of affairs could put the next soccer season at risk, “yes, there is a possibility,” Klys said.

“The ASA is supposed to be the face of soccer in our province. Unfortunately, the face is tarnished and the reputation of soccer has been damaged by a crippling internal dispute at the director-member level of the association that has occurred over the past several months,” said the letter circulated to members and stakeholders.

“Members of the ASA, including CASA, became gravely concerned about the ability of the board of the ASA to represent them. They want to see a full clean slate up for election at the January 2011 annual general meeting of the ASA rather than the usual half slate,” it said.

The dispute started in February 2010 when a group within the ASA board sacked the president and then claimed the right to govern the whole organization.

The dispute was taken to court, but the verdict issued by the court was only enough to ensure the continuation of last summer’s soccer season until its completion. The judge told the ASA to resolve their internal dispute in this year’s general annual meeting, where half of the board members are due to be replaced in an election.

Klys says, however, that in order to ensure a smooth governing process, most district associations believe that a new beginning is necessary with a whole new board being elected.

He appealed to all concerned parents and members to keep themselves informed of the developments in the run up to the 2011 annual general meeting of the organization.

The ASA provides many services including certifying districts and referees, coordinating provincial level championships and providing technical training and mentorship to district coaches. They also control all soccer in Alberta that is officially recognized at the national level.