60-year-old former Olympic athlete Charmaine Crooks has been named acting president of Canada Soccer as the embattled governing body looks to navigate a labour dispute with its men’s and women’s national teams.
Remarkably, Crooks has made history as she becomes the first woman and person of colour to lead Canada Soccer after serving as vice president for two years. The history maker will take over from Nick Bontis, who resigned.
It could be recalled that the Canadian women’s team, the reigning Olympic champions, recently escalated their protest over pay equity issues when they wore purple shirts that read “Enough is enough” ahead of their opening match of the SheBelievesCup in February.
Crooks said in a statement: “The job ahead for our organisations, our sport, and for the players who wear our Canadian jersey, is as important to me as any race I’ve competed in”.
“I know and understand the calls to get this right, and I am certain that we will be able to deliver real progress for our national teams all the way on down to our grassroots.”
According to official records, Crooks competed in five Olympics and won a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games as a member of the women’s 4×400 metres relay team.
Meanwhile, Kelly Brown, a member of Canada Soccer’s board of directors, was named acting vice president.
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