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The Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA), the local governing body of the sport of soccer, has allegedly stripped two girls soccer teams of their eligibility to compete in their respective lower-island leagues.

One of the teams is the Saanich Fusion VIPL U15. Apparently, the team has violated the out-of-catchment rule, meaning at least one player lives in an area of the city that is not within the Fusion’s catchment.

According to a statement released by the team, “Members of the Saanich Fusion Girls U15 VIPL team were unexpectedly advised late last week that due to an alleged player transfer rule violation; the Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA) has stripped the team of their league standing and is prohibiting the team from participating in the upcoming Provincial Cup competition. We have been informed that there is another lower island girls’ VIPL team (U18) in a similar situation. The coach, players, and parents of the Saanich Fusion Girls U15 VIPL team have not been provided with any direct communications outlining the reason for the decision or been provided a fair and impartial hearing for the team to address the allegations as required under the rules of the BC Soccer Association.

The actions of LISA ignore the principles of natural justice and have unfairly punished the players for matters beyond their control and influence. The issue of player transfers and the verification of player addresses have plagued LISA and its member clubs for years. LISA’s ongoing failure to examine and correct these problems has resulted in an unpredictable, biased, and random application of the rules. The result being that every few years LISA decides to scapegoat certain teams and punish children by taking away their right to play. Already this season, the only other lower island girls’ team in the U15 division, as well as a boys’ team, caught in a similar position have been allowed to pool teams with other clubs, skirt the rules, and avoid any discipline.

Our girls have been traumatized by this decision which flies in the face of both LISA’s and BC Soccer’s stated missions, goals, and strategic plans for encouraging and maintaining girls’ participation in the sport. We hope that the actions we are taking to raise awareness of this issue and seek justice for all of the impacted girls will force LISA and the BC Soccer Association to address this problem once and for all – and just let kids play!”

The Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA) is a key organization in the framework that enables and governs youth soccer on southern Vancouver Island.  LISA is a district member of BC Soccer; itself a member of Canada Soccer and as such represents this district.  As a member of BC Soccer, LISA has a responsibility to follow the policies and rules established by BC Soccer, Canada Soccer and ultimately FIFA.

There are currently four teams in the Vancouver Island Premiere League in the U15 age-group. The Fusion are in second place with a record of 7-1-3

At the time of posting, LISA had not yet responded.

Team GP Won Lost Tied Points GF GA GD
UI Riptide U15G 11 7 1 3 24 22 9 13
U15G Saanich Fusion/Prospect Lake 11 7 1 3 24 19 10 9
UI Storm U15G 12 3 5 4 13 10 15 -5
U15G Bays/Pen/Gorge/Lakehill/J 12 0 10 2 2 9 26 -17