The saga surrounding alleged international match-fixing and corruption in Canadian soccer continues.
After weeks of silence, Canadian Soccer League club SC Waterloo is responding to match-fixing allegations.
In a statement sent to 570 News, the club says any suggestions of match-fixing are “contrary to what [SC Waterloo] and its entire membership stands for.”
“Everyone seems to be talking about one match in particular,” the statement reads.
“The match in question [between SC Waterloo and Niagara United] was a whirlwind and we are still in awe as to what happened. We have never seen anything like it, and hope to never see it again. We have developed a protocol involving walking off of the field and taking any associated league fine if we see what we saw again.”
In the match referenced, Waterloo’s opponent, Niagara United, alleges that SC Waterloo was playing for a fixed result, going as far as allowing Niagara to score on their net and then avoiding scoring on Niagara’s open net when they had the chance.
“I’m not saying that they were throwing the game; I’m not saying that they were betting on the game, but they were manipulating the score for some reason […] and I highly suggested that Waterloo be suspended out of the league,” Niagara’s then-coach, James McGillivray, told 570 News.
McGillivray added the match — which featured multiple red cards handed out to Niagara — was abandoned in the 65th minute after his club tried to score on its own net in order to spoil the alleged fix, and Waterloo prevented his club from doing so.
Waterloo’s statement continues, “Let’s be very clear about documented occurrences from the match: there was only one team in that match that attempted to score on its own net. There was only one coach and only one goaltender who were telling their players to shoot on their own net. There was only one team with multiple red cards in the first half. This was not SC Waterloo.”
“SC Waterloo denies any wrongdoing and the club is resentful of any suggestion otherwise.”
The full statement from SC Waterloo can be read below.
STATEMENT FROM SC WATERLOO:
Naturally, we do have some objections.
We feel that, from the players who travel from cities all around the world to represent our city, to the local players and coaches who commit themselves to soccer excellence 7 days per week, to the sponsors who support amateur and professional soccer in our city, and to the fans who watched as our team earned a B-division league championship and playoff championship berth and a Pro-division playoff championship berth in 2015, we represent professionalism and integrity in all that we do.
SC Waterloo has a rich history or soccer success in the Canadian Soccer League.
This season its B-Division team was crowned with the CSL League Championship as the best team in the league for the regular season. SC Waterloo hosted the B-Division and Pro-Division Playoff Championship Finals and Banquet in Waterloo this past October, with both of its teams competing for the cup in their respective divisions.
In 2014, SC Waterloo was home to a strong squad as well and saw their team clinch a berth in the B-division cup championship match only to come out defeated 2-0 to Kingston F.C. In 2013, SC Waterloo was undoubtedly home to the best club in the league and saw its B-division and Pro-division teams win the cup championships, a rare accomplishment in the CSL.
SC Waterloo and its players commit to excellence in soccer each season. Many pro-division players come to the city each season, including those who have played in Major League Soccer(MLS) and the UEFA Champions League in Europe. There are players who have trained with SC Waterloo who have gone on to compete in leagues across the world and have received their first international professional soccer contract after training at SC Waterloo.
The success that has been had at the club in the recent years is attributed to one thing: a dedication to excellence. This excellence shines here in our city’s pickup soccer games, during CSL matches, and even after the players leave our city and go on to excel at new heights all around the world.
Everyone seems to be talking about one match in particular.
The match in question was a whirlwind and we are still in awe as to what happened. We have never seen anything like it, and hope to never see it again. We have developed a protocol involving walking off of the field and taking any associated league fine if we see what we saw again.
Let’s be very clear about documented occurrences from the match: there was only one team in that match that attempted to score on its own net. There was only one coach and only one goaltender who were telling their players to shoot on their own net. There was only one team with multiple red cards in the first half. This was not SC Waterloo.
Any suggestion of match manipulation to bring about a desired result for betting purposes is contrary to what the club and its entire membership stands for. SC Waterloo denies any wrongdoing and the club is resentful of any suggestion otherwise.
In SC Waterloo practice, the 2015 B-division league-winning champions and 2015 pro-division cup championship finalists scrimmage to end the practice. It is a great exercise for both groups. The B-division team gets to play against a much stronger opponent to prepare itself to defeat its B-division opponents. The Pro-division team gets to perfect its ability to possess the ball and own the gameplay.
There were a lot of comments about SC Waterloo possessing the ball during the match in question.
Is it that hard to believe that the dominant team saw an opponent that was now extremely shorthanded from numerous red cards, weakened by playing underage players who aren’t capable of even competing in the B-division, and handicapped by an un-athletic goaltender wearing an orange pinny who was better fitted to a local pub than an athletic event, and had no interest in pummeling the opponent or even playing the match because of these variables?
SC Waterloo resorted to possessing the ball, controlling the game, and perfecting its ability to make the opponent ‘chase’.
To the untrained eye, it looks strange. But to an organization as successful in soccer since their entrance into the league as SC Waterloo is, it is clearly a display of mastery of the game.
Right now, our organization is focused on landing a handful of local players into international contracts. Please accept our apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
Part of what makes our organization successful from April to October is the work that goes in during the off-season. We’ve got our sights set at making 2016 the most successful season for SC Waterloo yet.
This means only one thing: complete domination of the CSL Pro-division and B-division. See you there.