CPSL's Freaky Friday Aug 31, 2003 Author: Soccer Online - It's Called Futbol The decision handed down by The Honourable Mr. Justice de Lobe Panet at the Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa on Friday afternoon came as welcome news to the Canadian Professional Soccer League and the soccer community of London. Panet ruled to not grant an injunction that would have postponed the Open Canada Cup from being played at the Cove Road field this weekend, as was requested by the Ottawa Wizards. The Wizards had been removed from the tournament for failing to notify the league of its intent to play in the competition. The four-hour hearing, held in an Ottawa Superior Court, ended mere hours before London City took to the playing field to trounce the Durham Flames 4-1 in the wild card match to open the five-team tournament. London faces Kanata Soccer Club's men's amateur team in one semifinal on tonight at 8:30. The St. Catharines Roma Wolves take on the Metro Lions in the other semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Panet concluded that the Wizards had been given ample opportunity to become involved in the process - which included deciding on host city for the Open Canada Cup tournament and formulating its schedule -- but chose not to do so. Despite the Wizards' lawyer producing a thick document of papers supporting the club's position, the judge sided with the CPSL, represented by League Administrator Stan Adamson and Management Consultant Cary Copeland. "We were concerned because our lawyer couldn't make it to Ottawa and we had to handle it," explained Stan Adamson. "(Ottawa) had a high-priced lawyer and they were loaded with information. But we beat them. We felt we were right all along because we had fought for a number of weeks to satisfy the Ottawa Wizards. "The court was patient and allowed us to present our whole case. When Ottawa presented a situation - for instance, that we did not allow them an opportunity for input about the design and construction of the Open Canada Cup - we were able to produce evidence that they were invited to participate. The judge saw that there was all sorts of opportunity for them to participate in the process. "The judge also made it clear that Ottawa was given every opportunity to host the Open Canada Cup and that it was clear that the league adjusted to meet their needs, but he added that somebody also has to make the rules. The Wizards chose not to take that opportunity (to host)." Omur Sezerman, while obviously disappointed, said that he was not surprised with the judge's ruling. The Wizard's owner still plans to go ahead with lawsuits against the CPSL and several of its officials. "There are many things wrong with the CPSL, and the league knows it," he said ominously. "They are hiding it, but when they are under oath, it will come out." Sezerman added: "I am not trying to destroy the CPSL. I am trying to change it for the better. Whatever happens, in the end, the CPSL will be better off and soccer in Canada will be better off. We are still going ahead with our lawsuits. My team is looking forward to playing our upcoming league games. We have been off for a month, and now we have to play a lot of games in September. My final thought on the Open Canada Cup is 'Go, Kanata.'"
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