Surrey won’t host Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships this fall, now that the sport’s governing body has cancelled all such tournaments due to “the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic related to participant health and safety.”
Newton Athletic Park would have been busy with Jubilee and Challenge Trophy games for club teams of men and women from across the country, with Surrey FC the host association.
On Friday (July 9), Canada Soccer also announced the cancellation of U-15 Cup, U-17 Cup and Eastern and Western Masters competitions, planned for different cities across Canada.
“Factoring primarily into this decision are the significant ongoing concerns for the health and safety of all participants due to the issues related to the possibility of COVID-19 transmission during the competition,” says a post on Canada Soccer’s website (canadasoccer.com).
“In assessing the risks and potential mitigation strategies it was established that it would pose a demanding logistical and financial challenge to the participating teams and Local Organizing Committees to ensure compliance with all required protocols.
“Despite the positive news of improvement across the country,” the post continues, “the potential COVID-19 health and safety issues inherent with bringing together thousands of youth-aged participants to attend the Toyota National Championships during an ongoing pandemic made clear the decision to not move forward with the planning and hosting of the 2021 competition.”
As it stands, Surrey FC is still scheduled to host the U17 Cup in 2022 and the Challenge/Jubilee adult tournaments in 2024, after Canada Soccer announced host venues for three future editions of its Toyota National Championships on March 18.
Surrey’s Central City Breakers men’s team won the Challenge Trophy in October 2019 in St. John’s, after an emotional few months following the car-crash death of teammate Brandon Bassi.