Ryan Fusick and the Cowichan 49ers had their Tony Grover Cup semifinal match against Cordova Bay on Saturday cancelled due to COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Soccer season on hold due to COVID-19

Cowichan teams waiting to hear about cup and provincial games

The soccer seasons for five Cowichan Valley teams are now up in the air after BC Soccer suspended sanctioned soccer activity last week because of concerns over COVID-19.

Cowichan United and the Cowichan 49ers were scheduled to host semifinal games this past weekend in the Stephanie Shergold and Tony Grover Cup tournaments, respectively, but those games were postponed after an announcement from BC Soccer last Friday afternoon.

Quw’utsun FC managed to get their George Pearkes Challenge Cup quarter-final game in under the wire on Thursday night, but lost to Gorge and were knocked out of the tournament.

Three more teams — Cowichan LMG, the Cowichan Steelheads and the Cowichan Cougars — were previously eliminated from their cup events and were waiting to hear about their provincial championships, but those will be delayed, at best, at this point.

Cowichan United head coach Adam Paulson understood why the steps were taken, but was disappointed nonetheless. After a successful league campaign in Div. 2, United proceeded undefeated through Shergold Cup pool play and entered the playdowns as top seed.

“With the announcement from BC Soccer that all sanctioned activities are cancelled, Cowichan United has had to put our season on hold,” Paulson lamented. “While we understand and agree with the decision to put player safety ahead of the conclusion of the season, we are saddened to have the cup play disrupted, as we feel that we were in a great position to challenge for the Shergold Cup as the No. 1 seed after round robin play.

“Just as disappointing, the extension of this ban to practices and all team functions has greatly affected our ability to interact as teammates and friends. My ask of the ladies has been to continue training on their own, so that we are able to come together and complete the quest for the cup when the ban is over.”

BC Soccer’s directive issued last Friday suspended all sanctioned activities until further notice, including, but not limited to all competitions, training, practices, matches, coach and referee education and team-building activities.

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