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FIFA to fund Canada’s soccer league

World football/soccer organization FIFA has announced it will be providing funding to Canada’s premier league in an effort to help grow a “player pathway.”

Five years ago, the Canadian Premier League was created to establish and help grow soccer across the country, by giving Canadian talent a place to play.

Five seasons and two playoff champions later, the CPL has seen many successes.

FIFA says $2 million will be invested into the league between 2023 and 2026.

The funding is expected to go toward travel, accommodation, and match fees of the league’s referees, as well as supporting the travel and accommodation budgets of teams.

“We are pleased to support CSA and CPL through the FIFA Forward Programme in creating opportunities for Canadian players to excel at the highest levels of domestic football,” said Andrea Pizzati, FIFA Member Associations Regional Coordinator – Americas.

“The CPL serves as a crucial component in Canada’s football development pathway and looking back on the last five years, it’s incredible to watch how it has grown and evolved into such an impactful, solid competition.”

One of the biggest issues the CPL faces is the size of Canada. Having teams between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Langford, B.C. — 13 km from Victoria — is the largest distance that any domestic soccer game is played in the world — about 5,800 km.

Since the league began, it notes all player contracts, marketing, ticketing, sponsorship, communications, and league operations have been regulated and driven centrally to ensure a consistency and sustainability.

Canadian Premier League Final Cavalry FC and Forge FC line up before the game. (Photo Credit: FIFA)

This has helped the league grow in its short existence. It has also allowed it to survive COVID-19 and flourish at an international level, with clubs like Forge, Pacific, and, in 2024, Cavalry taking on the best from other countries.

“As a league this season, we experienced more parity than ever before, continued our focus on developing domestic players, established a new league-record transfer fee, saw attendance numbers soar, and set records in many other key areas of our business,” said CPL Commissioner Mark Noonan.

“We are excited to continue working alongside our partners at FIFA, Concacaf, and Canada Soccer to build a league that Canadians from coast to coast can loudly and proudly call their own, a place where young domestic players can pursue their dreams and where communities can congregate around our beautiful game. We know the best is yet to come.”

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