How Quebec Soccer Federation's ban on turbans could affect Montreal Impact academy players

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MONTREAL – The Quebec Soccer Federation’s suspension over its ban on turbans might have undesired effects on the Montreal Impact after all.

A number of young Montreal Impact academy players selected to represent Quebec at the 2013 Canada Games currently fear that they may not be allowed to take part in the tournament set to kick off on August 3 for women and August 12 for men. The Canadian Soccer Association said on Wednesday that the suspension prohibits Quebec teams from participating in or hosting interprovincial games and national competitions.

Ironically, the 2013 host city is Sherbrooke, a city in the Eastern Townships area of the province of Quebec. Since Canada Summer Games only come every four years, Quebec soccer players could be stripped from a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

READ: Saputo calls for common ground on Quebec turban issue

On Thursday, Sherbrooke newspaper La Tribune cited Patrick Kenny, director of marketing and communications at the Canada Games Council, who said there is “no chance” that the soccer competitions will be cancelled. But Quebec might not take part unless an agreement is reached within a month.

“We’re waiting on official word from the Quebec teams or the CSA to discuss next steps,” Kenny told La Tribune. “We’re in a process where there must be a good relationship between the provincial and national sporting bodies. For now, we’re following our schedules as usual and awaiting further developments.”

According to an Impact spokesperson, the uncertainty regarding the Canada Games is the only consequence the suspension will have on the MLS club.

After initially suspending the QSF on Monday night, the CSA upheld the disciplinary measure on Wednesday after the provincial body maintained its ban on turbans which the organization imposed “for safety reasons" earlier this month, invoking FIFA’s Law 4.

Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for MLSsoccer.com.