Citing medical advice, Canada Soccer opts to skip November match windows

·2 min read

TORONTO — In the wake of calling off a proposed October women's camp in England this month, Canada Soccer has opted not to summon the men for November's match window.

In both cases, the governing body said the decision was pandemic-related and made in consultation with health and medical experts.

"Canada Soccer remains hopeful that global health and travel measures may improve so that its best players can safely reunite for future international soccer windows," it said in a statement Friday.

The window for the men is scheduled for Nov. 9-17.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers originally slated for October and November had previously been pushed back to the March 2021 FIFA international window. Canada Soccer still hopes to hold a camp in January for domestic players and others out of season.

If the current schedule remains, the Canadian men will have World Cup qualifying matches during back-to-back international windows March 22-30 and May 31 to June 15 in 2021. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is slated for July.

Should Canada advance to CONCACAF's final round of qualifying, it would also play during the September, October and November windows next year.

The Canadian men, currently ranked 72nd in the world, have not played since January when they played friendlies against Iceland and Barbados.

The U.S. has opted to play in November, with a match against Wales scheduled for Nov. 12 behind closed doors at Swansea's Liberty Stadium.

The eight-ranked Canadian women, who last played in early March at a tournament in France, will also skip their Nov. 23-Dec. 1 international window. The next windows after that for the women are Feb. 15-24, April 5-13 April, and June 7-15. 

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press