The question of whether the new Albion FC soccer association will be allowed to splinter off from the West Coast Auto Group FC (WCAGFC) has become more controversial.
A notice on the B.C. Soccer website says the sport’s governing body in the province is investigating whether there has been any conflict of interest surrounding the decision.
“B.C. Soccer has received a formal complaint with regard to an alleged conflict of interest in the process that Alouette District Youth Soccer Association are applying to the application by the proposed new club Albion FC to join the Alouette District Youth Soccer Association …” it says.
“Matters of this nature are taken very seriously by B.C. Soccer. Both Alouette District Youth Soccer Association and the proposed new club Albion FC have and are continuing to comply with the requests made by BC Soccer as part of the complaint.
“B.C. Soccer recognizes and appreciates that many members of the soccer community are waiting for this matter and the application process of the proposed new club Albion FC to be determined.”
Albion FC has a Facebook page, which is advising its followers to not wait for the eventual decision, lest their children miss next season.
Mike Smith, one of the founders of the embryonic club, apologizes to the club supporters for the time it has taken, and advises them to register their child in a different association, which is guaranteed a league to play in. Smith had expected the issue to be resolved by April 30.
“Despite our attempts over these last months and weeks to get this question answered, we have been completely unable. B.C. Soccer will not answer, the clubs that control the Alouette District Youth Soccer Association have done nothing but stall and put up roadblocks, and so we are left in limbo,” his message said.
Smith added that members of the WCAGFC are on the Alouette association board, and have already voted against Albion FC in an email vote. Albion FC made the conflict complaint to B.C. Soccer.
He noted that Albion FC applied for inclusion in community soccer leagues on Dec. 12. 2013. By March 21 they demonstrated that they had 160 players and more than 12 teams. New clubs need have a minimum of only four teams under B.C. soccer’s bylaws.
Dan Mikolay, the newly elected president of the WCAGFC executive, noted that the Alouette association has set up an independent committee to consider Albion FC.
“It’s a district matter – it’s up to the Alouette district,” he said. “We support whatever decision is made by the independent committee.”
Beyond that, he had no comment.
“We’re trying to respect the process.”
Albion FC has urged B.C. Soccer to resolve the situation quickly, but has heard no timeline.