The Canadian Soccer Association's decision to cut ties with a largely Ontario semi-pro league has been approved by an arbitrator.

The CSA, the national governing body of soccer, announced plans to stop sanctioning the Canadian Soccer League in March.

That decision was upheld Tuesday by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, although the CSL will be allowed to operate until the end of the upcoming season that starts in May.

The CSA elected to make the change following a report recommending it create third-tier regional leagues while also accommodating teams like FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury in the second-tier North American Soccer League.

"We remain committed to this vision moving forward," said CSA president Victor Montagliani in a statement.

The 87-year-old CSL bills itself as Canada's professional league on its website and has been home to both the Toronto FC and Montreal Impact academy teams.

CSL president Vincent Ursini, in a separate statement, said he was pleased the league was given a stay of execution and maintained the CSA is making the wrong move.

"It flies in the face of fairness, it was unprecedented, unjust, and has been very disruptive and harmful to our league and our teams, now somewhat depleted for the coming season," said Ursini.