By Dan Plouffe
The Ottawa South United U14 girls have their title back. Learning they’d won a championship from a document didn’t carry quite the same emotion as winning the final game, but the team was satisfied nonetheless to hear the result of their appeal to the Ontario Soccer Association.
As reported in the October edition of the Ottawa Sportspage, the Ontario Youth Soccer League ordered a match OSU had won two months earlier in their season against to be replayed because the referee timed 40-minute halves instead of the standard 45.
With a tie in the replayed contest instead of a three-point win, OSU wound up in second place in the east division standings instead of first.
OSU coach Widdgin Bernard said at the time that the result of his club’s subsequent appeal wasn’t of utmost importance since they’d already lost their chance to play the west division champions – which would have occurred later the same day had they won the replayed match – and then potentially the Quebec champs.
“In our eyes, we finished first. And in our heart, we know it,” Bernard explained, although he was nonetheless pleased to give his girls a Halloween day treat and tell them they were officially champions and would have their names in the record books as the first team from Ottawa to capture an OYSL division crown.
The OSA discipline and appeals committee agreed strongly with the evidence OSU presented on all major points – most importantly that Bradford’s protest should not have been heard due to an OYSL policy that states: “No Protest pertaining to the decision of Game Officials will be heard.”
The committee acknowledged that the referee made an error in the length of the halves, but that this should not have superseded the Laws of the Game, which calls for two halves of equal length to be played, and added that the OYSL’s decision also “contravened the spirit of the game.”
Bernard recently learned that the OYSL intends to appeal the OSA committee’s decision to the Canadian Soccer Association.
By Dan Plouffe