Saanich girls soccer teams protest playoff ban


The players on two lower Vancouver Island girls soccer teams say all they want to do is play.

Players from the under-15 Saanich Fusion squad and the under 18 squad from the Gorge Lakehill teams, along with parents, coaches and other supporters, marched to the British Columbia legislature on Friday afternoon. They were protesting a decision by the Lower Island Soccer Association to penalize the teams for having too many players from outside their catchment areas.

With a week left in their season, the teams have been stripped of their points and banned from the playoffs.

“We found out after practice on Thursday night,” Saanich Fusion team coach Caelen Bright said, adding that the players were shocked.

“They were crying, they felt guilty [asking] had they made a mistake. The parents were outraged. They had no idea this was coming, this was a possibility.

The group says illegal player transfers is an issue that has been going on for years and taking such drastic action late in the season is unfair.

The Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA) would not respond other than a statement, which said in part, that it “takes all infractions of its rules and regulations seriously and considers carefully the impact of disciplinary decisions on players, coaches, parents, clubs and the soccer community as a whole.”

“Due to privacy issues in respect of the youth players involved, LISA is not able to comment on the specifics of the infraction in this matter.”


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