Central City Breakers soccer players sidelined after club suspended
Club faces allegations of misdirected funds, abuse of authority, conflict of interest
One of B.C.'s largest youth soccer club has been suspended, leaving roughly 2,500 children who play for the club sidelined as soccer authorities investigate serious allegations.
Hundreds of upset parents gathered at a tense general meeting for the Central City Breakers on Wednesday night. The club is under investigation for alleged conflicts of interest, abuse of authority and diversion of funds to the Canadian Eagle's FC club.
"It's the first time I've seen a club suspended," said the club's past president Dave MacEwan, who described the allegations as an internal power struggle that has little to do with soccer.
"It's just people with personal agendas."
He lined up Wednesday with more than 300 Central City Breakers club parents who were demanding answers.
"From the allegations that came out, I want answers. I just want to know what is going on," said Jag Dhillon, who has two children who played with the club last year.
Disciplinary hearing set for August
"Parents want to see a change. I bet over half the people don't even know why they are here. They weren't told anything. They are fed up," said one parent Amar Bains.
Other parents expressed outrage and sadness over the effect controversies like this have on youth soccer.
"It's ridiculous. The kids they should be able to play soccer, it's nonsense," said Elton Anderson.
Disciplinary hearings for the club are set for mid-August. The club's executive members were not available at Wednesday's meeting to answer questions about the allegations.
While the meeting remained peaceful for the most part — aside from some yelling and pushing, and a crowd banging on a window — RCMP were on hand in case tensions bubbled up.
"We knew there was a gathering here with hundreds of people and tensions high, so we came to maintain public safety," said RCMP Insp. Ghalib Bhayani.
Parents are unsure if they will get refunded for the money they've paid for the upcoming season. As for the players, they won't have anywhere to play when the season starts unless they can find another club to join by September.