2023-02-28 · 1 min read · Canada Soccer/Soccer
Canada Soccer’s Nick Bontis is immediately stepping away from his role

The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck | RDS

The head of Canada Soccer’s governing body is immediately stepping away from his role.
Nick Bontis was elected president of Canada Soccer in November 2020, succeeding Steven Reed.
His announcement comes amid a heated labour dispute between Canada Soccer and the men’s and women’s players.
Bontis says that Canada Soccer and its teams have an opportunity to sign what he’s called a “historic collective bargaining agreement” but added that “this moment requires change”.
Earlier this month, the Canadian men’s national team asked Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge to remove the Canada Soccer leadership if they are “unwilling to take immediate action to respond to the players’ demands and concerns”.
Bontis was considered a lightning rod for the labour impasse concerning Canada Soccer and the Canadian players, saying last summer that they wanted a “facts-based discussion within the fiscal reality that Canada Soccer has to live with every day.”
He was also a proponent of Canada Soccer’s controversial deal with Canada Soccer Business (CSB), with Bontis saying that was “pivotal in building soccer and growing the game in this country”.
The Canadian men’s and women’s players have demanded that Canada Soccer open their books, including the agreement with Canada Soccer Business, which looks for sponsorship and broadcast deals for the national teams.
CSB pays Canada Soccer a set amount annually while keeping what’s left, which helps fund the Canadian Premier League.
The Canadian women, who are preparing for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, are looking for the same backing that the men’s team got when they appeared at the finals in Qatar.
“Serving as a volunteer for this organization and witnessing the tremendous achievements we’ve been able to accomplish together has been some of the proudest moments of my life,” he said. “Olympic success for our women’s national team. Genuine diversity on our board of directors, including our first-ever female vice-president. Our first men’s FIFA World Cup goal at Qatar 2022. Winning the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup at home.
“I know in my heart that there is more to come,” says Bontis.
During his time with Canada, Soccer Bontis was also the chair of strategic management at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, a role he still holds today.
He has also been a member of the Canada Soccer board of directors since 2012, serving in many different roles, including vice president and chair of the strategic management committee.
On Saturday, Bontis was named CONCACAF Council vice-president (North America) at the 38th CONCACAF Ordinary Congress.
His decision to leave does not affect his position at CONCACAF, with a spokesman saying those jobs are not linked, and therefore Bontis remains on the council.
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