Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association files tampering charges against private academy

The Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) has denied an application for league play by a Hanover soccer team from Steinbach.

The WYSA board has also asked its disciplinary committee to launch an investigation into tampering and team-stacking charges against several individuals and coaches involved with a private soccer training academy in Winnipeg, as well as the Hanover Soccer Club.

WYSA past president Adam Dooley said a number of players who were playing in the league for several different teams, appeared to have been recruited by the private academy where they were also training, and while they were still registered with their WYSA teams.

“The Academy tried to circumvent those tampering rules by going to a club outside of the city, and with a super team, coming back to compete against our clubs,” he said.

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Dooley said the Hanover team has been a member of the league for a long time.

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“But at the same time, we have to take a dim view of what we feel is a likely tampering situation,” he said.

“It’s hard to imagine how several dozen individuals can come to the conclusion that they should all leap to a team outside of the city, without the active participation of the coaches and the club involved.”

Dooley said the league rules have been in place for decades, and the individuals involved are (or should be) aware of those boundaries.

“What we’re being asked to accept here, is a situation where this one group of players and this one team, wants to be able to actively recruit from anywhere,” said Dooley, “while the rest of our teams have to stay within their boundaries and follow the rules.”

Dooley said a disciplinary action has been launched and that will now proceed as per the league constitution and rules.

“The league disciplinary committee will decide independently whether there’s enough evidence to find if those charges are appropriate. And if so, the mandatory minimum would be a one-year suspension, although the disciplinary committee would have leeway to impose other disciplines as well.”

The players on the Hanover Soccer Club could still play in tournaments this summer, but the decision to abandon their WYSA teams resulted in two to three teams in the Winnipeg South End United organization to be disbanded.

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This affects between 12-15 players who will either have to play this season at the recreational level for their community club teams, or not at all.

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