The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has a much more positive tone regarding the potential for a 2021 season following COVID-19 meetings put on by each franchise.
However, there are many hurdles to clear for the league to kick-off football by the current August 5 target date. Union president Solomon Elimimian sent a memo to update the membership on Friday, May 28.
We continue to have discussions with the league on both; the start of a season and the mechanics of modifying the collective agreement to accommodate a COVID-restricted environment.
To allow you to get your affairs in order and prepare to play football, you will have attended a team informational session over the past two weeks. Your CFLPA was also in attendance for those calls and can assist with questions or comments from those meetings.
With that said, the provincial and federal health authorities still have the last word on allowing fan attendance and when we can start training camp and begin a shortened season.
The news we have seen in the past seven days has been positive, but there is still work to be done. Included in the direction from the health authorities will be what restrictions are in place for crossing the border and travelling to your club’s home city. As that information becomes more readily available, we will continue to share.
The league has delayed its start date with a 14-game schedule targeted to kick-off on August 5, culminating in a currently planned December 12 Grey Cup. For the timeline to be met, the league requires ‘a significant number of fans’ to be allowed in stadiums by municipal, provincial, and federal governments.
The league and players’ union began meetings during the second week of February with a focus on playing football this year. The two sides have submitted return to play health and safety plans to various levels of government in Canada and are working to finalize the details in hopes of getting the final stamp from the nation’s capital.
As coronavirus situations vary from Quebec to British Columbia, the CFL and players’ association needs each of the six provinces to sign-off on return to play health and safety plans to start the official process of putting football back on the field.