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Coronavirus: Quebec Student Sports Federation cancels fall university sports due to pandemic

Click to play video 'Stingers head coach reacts to sports federation decision to cancel fall university sports' Stingers head coach reacts to sports federation decision to cancel fall university sports
Concordia Stingers Football head coach, Brad Collinson, says the decision from the Quebec Sports Federation to cancel fall sports is "disappointing" but the team will take this opportunity to get better.

The Quebec Student Sports Federation has cancelled university sports for the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Universities are permitted to hold activities with another school in cross-country, soccer and golf. But “inter-team activities” are not allowed in football or rugby.

The decision means all four Canadian conferences will not hold any football games this fall.

The Quebec federation is continuing to allow elementary schools, high schools and CEGEPs to announce if they will play out their fall seasons, as long as they are in accordance with their recovery plans and provincial health directives.

READ MORE: Quebec teachers’ union suing government for info on coronavirus back-to-school plan

The Quebec football conference has five teams, including the perennial powerhouse Laval Rouge et Or and the Montreal Carabins, who lost last year’s Vanier Cup to the Calgary Dinos.

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Carabins athletic director Manon Simard said it was “counter-productive” to have competitions while also having to respect health guidelines at the same time.

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“It’s a very difficult decision,” Simard said.

The Carabins football team plans to meet Monday evening to discuss further plans. While exhibtion games won’t be allowed, head coach Marco Iadeluca says he hasn’t ruled out holding practices and intrasquad scrimmages.

“We have a good idea about what we want to do,” Iadeluca said. “But for sure we must consider and take into account the security of our athletes.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Quebec to allow interscholastic sports to resume with restrictions next week

Meanwhile, Concordia Stingers football head coach Brad Collinson called the decision to cancel fall sports disappointing, but added there’s a flip side too.

“We’re trying to use this as an opportunity to get better,” he said. “At our institution we’re allowed to practice so we’re going to do that.”

Practices at Concordia begin on Tuesday, and Collinson plans on making the most of it.

“We’ve got to keep the morale up and keep them (the players) understanding that this an opportunity never before seen that we have a whole year to get better.”

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U Sports cancelled all six of its fall national championships, including football semifinals and the Vanier Cup, in June.

The Quebec conference will make a decision on winter sports on Oct. 15.

— With files from Global’s Felicia Parrillo and Annabelle Olivier