Expect an email! I would like to get involved. For there is a region bursting with potential to create its own football universe. Ontario is ripe for a proper league system, proper clubs, and proper governance. By proper, I mean the opposite of MLS and Toronto FC. I mean, they’re okay as an exhibition league, but real football goes further than the Laws of the Game. Real football has an entire culture attached, and while North Americans are getting better at imitating it (buying club scarves etc), we’re not generating it.
Enough critique. Here’s what the OSA can do right now: organize existing leagues and encourage new ones until a full pyramid for play is created. It is my understanding that this has already been done to some extent with youth leagues and amateur leagues. But the key is this: Ontario should push to be recognized as a member federation of FIFA, and in the meantime create and promote a league system rivalling any in Europe. Why do this in spite of Canada? Because association football, like many things, was designed by Europeans. It is meant to function on the level of a European state, which is equivalent to our ‘provinces.’ Europe always shunned superstates like the ones we call Canada and the United States.
So, I would like to see autonomous clubs encouraged throughout Ontario, from the amateur to the professional. Every city neighborhood, every rural town, every church, school, and company could field a team at some level. And if they succeed, then promotion will follow (regardless of financial situation). For if we return to the note on “culture generation,” Ontario’s SA could be the first to ask leagues to provide play facilities matching their status for clubs that have the merit to play at a certain level but not the finances. Of course, the clubs will want to provide their own grounds eventually for purposes of pride and income.
More to come on this topic later…