USL: Ottawa gets approval from Concacaf to play in 2019 Championship

The Ottawa Fury will get to play in the 2019 USL Championship. Concacaf, which objected at the last minute to sanctioning the Fury as a Canadian team playing in a U.S. league, withdrew its objection.

The Canadian Soccer Association advised the Fury about Concacaf's decision to sanction, pending approval by FIFA.

The issue only arose because a Canadian alternative to the USL -- the Canadian Premier League — will launch in 2019. Ottawa expressed interest in joining and has an out-clause with the USL about leaving for a Canadian league, but it never pulled the trigger.

“The outcome is where we wanted to be,” said Mark Goudie, president and CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, the Fury's parent company. “Relief is a good word. It’s not happy because this was an emotional ordeal. This had negative undertones about it. We’re happy to emerge from the negativity and worry about building a roster for next year. I still feel it was unnecessary to go through this process. I don’t think it’s helpful to us, the USL, the CPL, Soccer Canada and Concacaf. Hopefully, we can figure out a way to happily avoid this next year.”

In a statement, Concacaf said Ottawa's complaint before the Court of Arbitration for Sport -- since withdrawn -- unnecessary and termed the filing and Fury's "extensive public relations campaign was a needless and misinformed distraction during this process."
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