Hamilton’s Nick Bontis resigns as Canada Soccer president


Published February 27, 2023 at 5:47 pm

Nick Bontis showed himself out as president of Canada Soccer, with the Hamilton resident acknowledging a change at the top is needed to find common ground between World Cup contributors and the national federation.

The resignation announcement came the presidents of all 13 provincial and territorial federations requested Bontis step down, according to a report by TSN. The women’s national team recently threatened a strike over budget cuts and pay equity as it prepares to ramp up for the upcoming World Cup. The women’s team, who are defending Olympic gold medallists and say they had not been compensated for national team work in 2022, played in the SheBelieves Cup under protest. Their cause drew support from the rival United States.

Last year, the men’s national team, which includes goalkeeper Milan Borjan of Stoney Creek, also struck before a match over their disagreement with CSA’s handling of millions of dollars the team earned for Canada by qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“While I have been one of the biggest proponents of equalizing the competitive performance environment for our Women’s National Team, I will unfortunately not be leading this organization when it happens,” Bontis said of his decision to step aside.

“I acknowledge that this moment requires change.”

The 53-year-old Bontis had been president of CSA since 2020, and had been part of the board since 2012. Reports indicate that he will remain vice-president of CONCACAF, the regional federation for North America, Central American and Caribbean.

Away from the boardrooms and the soccer pitches, Bontis is an associate professor and chair of strategic management at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. A profile on the business school’s site describes Bontis as “an award-winning tenured professor of strategy having won over a dozen teaching awards and several research awards.”

His athletic background includes being a Western Mustangs soccer player and track-and-field athletes during his days at the London, Ont., university. Bontis also played for local soccer teams such as Dundas United and Hamilton Greek Olympic.

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