Alberta government has not issued official approval of CFL return-to-play protocols

Photo courtesy: Alberta Government

The provincial government in Alberta has not yet signed off on the Canadian Football League returning to play within its borders.

A recent national report by TSN’s Dave Naylor and Farhan Lalji, posted online and revealed on the televised coverage of the Canadian Draft, stated that each of the six provinces with CFL franchises had verbally approved the league’s return-to-play proposal.

Alberta has joined British Columbia and Ontario in denying the report, according to Canadian Press reporter Dan Ralph.

When asked if that province had provided verbal approval of CFL protocols, Tom McMillan, the assistant director, communications for Alberta Health, said, “While we have offered preliminary support, no official approval of return-to-play protocols or exemptions have been granted, to date.”

“We have been in contact with the CFL and generally support a safe return to play when it is safe to do so,” he said in an email. “Right now, our focus is bending the curve.

“We will keep Albertans updated if any decisions are made. We all miss football and so many other outdoor activities. The best thing we can all do is to get the vaccine and help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The Edmonton Football Team and Calgary Stampeders are based in Alberta. That means six of the nine franchises are currently unable to practice or play in their respective home provinces.

Publicly the CFL remains focused on starting the regular season on August 5. Whether its current target date is actually possible has come into question. Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has been silent when it comes to plans and details, leaving government officials to fill in the proper information.