Kara Lang has been a vocal advocate of CSA reform. (Associated Press)
Former Canadian women's team star Kara Lang was in attendance for Saturday's Canadian Soccer Association's Special General Meeting in Ottawa, where the membership of the CSA voted on governance renewal.
Lang attended the meeting with CBC Sports commentator Jason de Vos, a former captain of the Canadian men's team.
The following is a statement that was prepared by Lang, on behalf of the women's national team, which she was to read before the delegates of today's Canadian Soccer Association Special General Meeting in Ottawa. She was unable to do so, because only the motions on the agenda were open for discussion.
This is what she would have said, if given the chance: Hello everyone and thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the players.
The players of our national women's team whole-heartedly support the change in governance that has been proposed. We feel that it is an important, and necessary, step for the growth of soccer in Canada.
Voting in favour of reform would mean that there would be a greater level of soccer and business expertise at the disposal of this association. It would add a level of experience that is currently not there. It would allow for new ideas and new voices to influence Canadian soccer.
It is also important to us that a change in governance will see more women in the board. While a minimum of three women on the board is far from perfect, it is a start, and one that the players fully endorse.
Most importantly is that the CSA does not continue as is and accepts the status quo. It is simply not good enough. If soccer in this country is going to take the next step, then the CSA needs to change. Carolina Morace has brought the women's program to a whole new level, but unless the Association starts making changes that allow it to grow and progress, the team won't ever be able to reach its full potential and achieve the goals that they have set for the program.
You have the power to stop the inertia of this Association that is stifling the growth of soccer in this country. It's time that you all recognized the opportunity that is right in front of you. The women's program is the most successful program in Canada, and has the potential to change the face of soccer in this country. We've heard many times that the CSA supports the women's game, but actions speak louder than words. So far the actions of the Association have proven otherwise.
If you truly believe in this team, then invest in them and give them the resources they need to succeed. You have what could potentially be one of the best teams in the world - just imagine what could happen if they came home with a World Cup Championship or an Olympic medal. Imagine what it could do for soccer in this country.
Lastly, I would like to address the situation with the women's national team coach, Carolina Morace.
The players are aware of her decision to resign after the World Cup, and want to express that they are behind her 100 per cent. This is not an acceptable outcome, and the players would like to urge the CSA to act quickly to resolve this situation.
Carolina has brought a new mindset to the women's team, and the players feel she is the key to achieving a medal in the World Cup and beyond. By allowing her to leave, the CSA would be doing a grave disservice to the team and to soccer in Canada.
For those of you who think that the issue of Carolina's resignation is separate from that of governance reform - you are sadly mistaken.
Carolina Morace is the best thing that has ever happened to the women's program, and if not for the current governance structure, she would be able to do her job to the best of her ability.
The Canadian national women's team feels that it is in the best interests of the game in Canada to do whatever it takes to ensure she remains a part of the program.
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