Canada will be getting a new professional soccer league after the Canadian Soccer Association unanimously approved the Canadian Premier League over the weekend.
The proposed league already has two founding cities, with Hamilton, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, having received CSA membership approval alongside that of the league. Both founding cities are being headed by leaders of their respective Canadian Football League franchises.
"The CPL will fill the existing void in the national Canadian soccer development platform by operating a top level professional league, both on and off the field," Bob Young, owner of the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, wrote in an open letter. "The CSA and the CPL’s shared commitment is to foster the development of Canadian players.
"Most importantly, I’m really excited the Canadian Soccer Association has approved Hamilton’s application to become an official member of the CSA. This approval allows our Hamilton team to apply and join the CPL at the appropriate time."
The Canadian Premier League has received unanimous support to join Canada Soccer. #CANPL— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) May 6, 2017
Wade Miller, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, stated that his group has been working alongside CPL leadership "for the past 18 months" in order to establish a new club in Manitoba's largest city.
Miller pointed to recent history as proof that soccer can work in Winnipeg.
“We know from hosting the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup that this community has a passion for the sport,” Miller said in a release. “There has been a lot of work done behind the scenes to move this endeavor forward.”
While no other cities were announced, the CPL website states that 10 Canadian cities have expressed interest and the league will be assessing bids "over the next 60-90 days."