Dino Rossi steps down from Canada Soccer board, exacerbating troubles at governing body

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Dino Rossi has resigned from Canada Soccer’s board of directors, saying “football doesn’t come first at Canada Soccer these days.”

Rossi, a longtime soccer administrator, was elected to the board representing Ontario in May 2023.

“If you know anything about me, you know how passionate I am about Canadian soccer and especially our national teams,” Rossi wrote in a social media post. “The opportunity to serve the CSA (Canadian Soccer Association) and the sport as a director, especially with the 2026 World Cup coming to Canada, felt like such an exciting opportunity at a pivotal time.

“Sadly, and for a multitude of reasons, it became apparent that football doesn’t come first at Canada Soccer these days. I found it exceedingly difficult to contribute in a manner that I found meaningful, impactful, and in service of the sport and those who play the game.

“Ultimately when a situation isn’t a good fit, it is better to move on.”

Rossi did not elaborate on the specifics behind his resignation and declined further comment. 

He said in the statement that he was stepping away “so that someone else may fill the seat for the two remaining years of my term and, hopefully, contribute more (or differently) than I was able to.” 

Paulo Senra, Canada Soccer’s chief communications and content officer, said the governing body was made aware of Rossi’s resignation earlier this week.

“We thank him for his service and we wish him all best,” Senra said in a brief statement.

Rossi is also the volunteer executive chairman of League1 Ontario, a league owned by Canadian Soccer Business. That role prompted Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, at a House of Commons Heritage Committee meeting in May, to ask Canada Soccer president Charmaine Crooks to ensure that Rossi recused himself from matters pertaining to CSB.

His departure is the latest in a series of changes for Canada Soccer.

Newly appointed Allyson Walker withdrew from the job of general secretary the day she was slated to start last month citing personal reasons. The search for a replacement is delaying the appointment of a men’s national team coach.

Former Canada captain Jason deVos, who had been serving as interim general secretary, quit last month to join Toronto FC as an assistant coach.

Former president Nick Bontis and general secretary Earl Cochrane resigned last year as Canada Soccer and its players engaged in a lengthy, bitter labour dispute that remains unresolved. 

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