Joey Saputo reacts on #TurbanGate between the Quebec Soccer Federation and the Canadian Soccer Federation

Richard Wolowicz

Turban Gate has created a media storm within the borders of Quebec, Canada and beyond. After banning the wear of turbans during games sanctionned by the federation, the QSF found itself suspended by the CSA after being warned to reverse its decision.

Joey Saputo released ,via the Montreal Impact Media , a short press release conveying his feelings and comments about the rift between the Canadian Soccer Association and the Quebec Soccer Federation over the ban of players wearing the Sikh Turban.

The infamous #turbangate has put the province of Quebec and Canadian Soccer on the World Soccer Map for the wrong reasons. In the previous week, the Quebec Soccer Federation banned the use of turbans in sanctionned games, something that did not go unnoticed.

The CSA suspended the provincial federation until the ban is reversed, after previsouly asking to reverse the QSF decision. The CSA cited the fact that it did not ban the wear of turbans in the following statement.

The Canadian Soccer Association has requested on 6 June that the Quebec Soccer Federation reverse its position on turbans/patkas/keski with no resolution," said Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association, following the Board of Directors meeting. "The Quebec Soccer Federation's inaction has forced us to take measures in order to ensure soccer remains accessible to the largest number of Canadians."
The suspension will be lifted once the Canadian Soccer Association receives demonstration that the Quebec Soccer Federation has lifted the ban and applies satisfactorily the Canadian Soccer Association's policy in the matter.

Joey Saputo reacted on the Montreal Impact website in the press release below.

DÉCLARATION DU PRÉSIDENT DE L'IMPACT DE MONTRÉAL JOEY SAPUTO

Personnellement, je pense qu'on ne devrait pas empêcher un enfant de jouer au soccer au niveau mineur parce qu'il porte un turban. Toutefois, je comprends la décision de la Fédération de soccer du Québec qui a été prise selon un règlement de la FIFA, qui laissait place à interprétation. Les commentaires accusant la fédération de racisme sont déplacés compte-tenu du contexte dans lequel la fédération a dû naviguer. L'Association canadienne de soccer a fait une recommandation et n'a pas statué précisément sa position auprès des fédérations provinciales. Par ailleurs, la décision de l'Association canadienne de suspendre la fédération est donc nettement exagérée. Toutes les instances en cause doivent trouver un terrain d'entente pour le bien du sport.

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