After six seasons in the NASL and USL, the Ottawa Fury has suspended operations.
The stumbling block was the failure to secure sanctioning to participate in the USL Championship in
As a Canadian club seeking to play in a U.S.-based league, Ottawa needs sanctioning from the Canadian Soccer Association, U.S. Soccer and Concacaf.
What used to be a
mere formality in earlier years changed for the 2019 season when the Canadian Premier League launched. The Fury was under pressure to play in the CSL from the Canada Soccer Association, but at the
last minute it got the green light from Concacaf to remain in the USL.
“To avoid a repeat of last year, we started the sanctioning process back in March," Mark Goudie, the
president and CEO of the Fury’s parent company, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, told the Ottawa Sun. "Here we are, eight months later,
with no sanctioning and no indication as to when or if we might hear from Concacaf or the Canadian Soccer Association on our sanctioning. It’s apparent to us and it’s apparent to the USL,
which took up our case and our cause with Concacaf and U.S. Soccer, that there’s no intention to address the Fury sanctioning issue and, instead, intent on behalf of all our governing bodies to
simply drag their feet and run us out of time. The USL has told us they need to move on with their 2020 schedule, they had set a Nov. 1 drop-dead date and we understand that.”
The Fury received sanctioning from the CSA in May to play in the USL in 2020,
but the CSA did not send the sanctioning request on to U.S. Soccer and Concacaf until September.
In a statement after the Fury's announcement of its decision to cease operations, Concacaf
stated that it has "recently been working through an incomplete application for Ottawa Fury to compete in the United Soccer League in 2020. We will not comment on the details of that application, and
given today’s announcement we now consider the matter closed."
Fury ownership said its options could include relocation of the club to the United States.
Ottawa's best season was
in 2015 when it was the NASL runner-up behind the Cosmos. The Fury reached the playoffs for the first time in its three USL seasons in 2019.