Canada Soccer joins Abuse-Free Sport in March 2023

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Canada Soccer has announced further progress on its Safe Sport reforms, signing an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport no later than 1 March 2023, the new independent program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.

By signing, Canada Soccer and its stakeholders — all members of Canada Soccer at the national level or anyone engaged by Canada Soccer who perform duties on behalf of these Members when the Members are engaged in soccer-related activities sanctioned by Canada Soccer — will have access to the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), following a transition period which will end no later than March 1, 2023. The OSIC serves as the central hub of the Abuse-Free Sport program.

“Canada Soccer recognizes that safe sport is everyone’s responsibility,” said Earl Cochrane, Canada Soccer General Secretary in a press release. “We’re fully committed to doing our part to support a growing national movement, and today we are building on our reforms that are already underway. As part of that commitment, we’re pleased to sign on to Abuse-Free Sport and to soon have the OSIC to administer our safe sport complaints.”

During the transition period, Canada Soccer is completing full adoption of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), which it must do before it can become part of the Abuse-Free Sport program and making the required policy changes.

Prior to March 1, 2023 Canada Soccer participants who have experienced or witnessed abuse will continue to have access to independent third-party services through our existing reporting mechanisms.  Beyond reaching out through email to discipline@canadasoccer.com, participants have access through three (3) processes:

1) An independent and external service provider, available in both English and French languages, can be reached toll free through the Whistleblower Hotline at 1-800-661-9675 24 hours a day and seven days a week
2) The External Service Provider can be reached through at OmbudsOffice@sportlaw.ca
3) By sending physical documents to: “CONFIDENTIAL, Attention: Canada Soccer Whistleblower to Sport Law & Strategy Group, 53 Evanston Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5P4”. More information regarding Canada Soccer’s Whistleblower policy can be found HERE.

“The culture of sport is changing and this is an important step forward for everyone involved with soccer and in sport generally across our country,” said Cochrane.

 

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