Pandas cause uproar

By Kris Kotarski

Controversy in the world of sport isn’t saved for the Dennis Rodmans and the Javier Sotomayors. Sometimes, it pops up where you least expect it–Canada West women’s soccer.

A match between the Trinity Western University Spartans and the University of Alberta Pandas scheduled for Sun., Sept. 23 never occurred. The referees scheduled to work the game didn’t show up and the teams were left bewildered, standing on the pitch. Regardless of the nature of the miscommunica-tion, the Alberta Pandas were the hosts and were therefore responsible for supplying the referees. Due to the missing zebras, their program is now liable to the league.

"Why they didn’t show up, I can’t answer that," said University of Calgary Dinos Head Coach Robin Slot. "It should have been played."

According to Gord Franson, the soccer convenor for Canada West, the league has two choices. Either Alberta pays for TWU to fly back to Edmonton and play, or the game becomes a forfeit. With the costs of flying a West Coast team to play in the prairies in the thousands of dollars, a cost-cutting forfeit by the U of A is a reality.

Alberta’s playoff hopes will not be hurt since they’re hosting the Canada West Championships. However, an extra three points for Trinity could be crucial in the tight conference race. With the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, the University of Saskatchewan and the Dinos all competing for three spots alongside Alberta, a three point cushion could be what separates a playoff team from the also-rans.

"The decision can’t be made right now," said Franson. "We’re weighing the options." Franson added that a decision regarding the situation will be made by the end of the week by the League Executive along with the Athletic Directors of Canada West.

Slot hopes the league will decide to reschedule the game.

"If they play nine games, that’s one less game for cards, for injuries and for fatigue," he said.

Completed with additional information from Ryan Laverty.

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