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Canadian Championship postponed, Toronto FC given Champions League berth

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The delayed 2020 Canadian Championship Final between Forge FC and Toronto FC will be pushed back to later in the year, announced Canada Soccer Thursday.

There had been suggestions the final would take place in late March, to ensure the winner could then go on to meet LigaMX’s Club León in the first round of the 2021 Concacaf Champions League in April.

But according to Thursday’s announcement Canada Soccer, Toronto FC and Forge FC agreed to give Toronto FC the Champions League berth while also awarding Forge FC the right to host the Canadian Championship Final later this year.

“Canada Soccer looks forward to hosting the Canadian Championship Final at Tim Hortons Field and celebrating the achievements of both clubs with their fans in the stands in a safe manner,” said Dr. Nick Bontis, President, Canada Soccer. “Eventually, we will crown a Battle of the North champion and award the Voyageurs Cup for the 2020 season.

“We recognize that the past year has been difficult for Canadians, and applaud the valiant efforts of all public health authorities including the Government of Ontario, Forge FC and Toronto FC in support of hosting the Canadian Championship Final. All parties have agreed to coordinate the future scheduling of the 2020 final in a true show of collaborative sportsmanship.”

Forge FC supports decision

The postponement comes after it was made public Forge FC were not given special dispensation from the Ontario government to be allowed to train for the Canadian Championship. Toronto FC did receive permission to train ahead of the Major League Soccer season which starts in April.

The 2020 Canadian Championship was altered from its original tournament format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was eventually decided the winner of the Canadian Premier League Island Games, Forge FC, would face the nation’s top MLS side, Toronto FC to decide the 2020 Canadian Championship winner.

“We are supportive of the outcome that Toronto FC will play in Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League given it’s in the best interest of our players’ health and safety and because it’s the right thing to do for Canadian Soccer given these highly unique circumstances,” said Matt Afinec, President and Chief Operating Officer of Forge FC, via a separate club statement Thursday. “We thank Canada Soccer for providing a positive solution on this matter and wish TFC all the best in their upcoming matches while looking forward to seeing them at Tim Hortons Field in the future to determine the 2020 Canadian Champion.”

Canada Soccer will announce the date of the 2020 Canadian Championship Final at a later date.

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Editor of Total Soccer News | Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and multimedia professional, having worked at 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. He covers Cavalry FC and Canadian Premier League. Stuart is available for media appearances, including podcasts, television, and radio. Email stuartgradon@totalsoccernews.com to inquire.

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