Canada Soccer welcomes new era, approves professional league

WHISTLER, British Columbia, Canada -- Canada Soccer has achieved another major milestone as a leading soccer nation Saturday, when the membership attending 2017 Annual Meeting of the Members approved the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

The unanimous endorsement encourages Canada Soccer to further grow the game through a professional league that is fully aligned with the National Teams Program.

Hamilton and Winnipeg were acknowledged as founding cities for the league, which intends to partner with strong community lead owner/operator groups across the nation. The CPL – slate to launch in 2018 -- has already received expressions of interest from 10 Canadian cities and will be assessing bids over the next 60-90 days.

“We know from hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 in Winnipeg that this community has an undeniable passion for the sport,” said Wade Miller, Winnipeg Football Club President and CEO. “There has been a lot of work done behind the scenes to move this endeavour forward.”

Canada is positioned for unprecedented growth in the coming years, most recently signing a three-member CONCACAF agreement with the United States and Mexico to submit a unified bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. The historic bid, which would represent the first time that three nations would jointly host a FIFA competition, has already received the unanimous support from CONCACAF's 41 member associations.