Friday March 13, 2020 ~ LANGFORD
by Mary P Brooke ~ West Shore Voice News
Langford and the soccer community were looking forward to a top-level exhibition matchup between Canada Soccer and Trinidad and Tobago at the end of this month.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the BC public health requirement to cancel all events that would see more than 250 people, those games set for March 27 and 31 have had to be cancelled.
“Given the extraordinary nature of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and after close dialogue with our membership and public health authorities, Canada Soccer has taken the necessary decision to suspend all domestic soccer activity as well as National Team programming to ensure the well being of all involved,” said Steven Reed, Canada Soccer President.
Canada Soccer says as well that all coaching courses and any referee programming has been postponed until at least the end of April and no in person Board or Committee meetings will be held.
Langford had been really pleased that tickets sold out really quickly after going on sale February 20.
Trinidad & Tobago is considered to be a powerhouse team. Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach John Herdman talked last month about a kind of ‘friendly hostility’ to ramp up interest to fill the stands in the 6,000-seat stadium on March 27.
The City of Langford was clearly pleased to have wooed this game to what for international pro soccer teams is still a relatively small stadium. There would be have been a significant economic boost to kick off the outdoor team sports spring-summer season.
Langford Mayor Stew Young, and Councillors Matt Sahlstrom, Lanny Seaton, Lillian Szpak, and Roger Wade had attended and about 50 people of the sports management community attended an announcement event at the stadium on February 14 to announce the games.
The Canada Soccer games would have ramped up excitement for the Pacific FC season which is to start April 11 but may also see a need to cancel if the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to that point, and Pacific FC has set up a committee to maintain discussion on that.