The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan may still be on, but members of Team Canada won’t be in attendance.
Citing concerns around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the federation announced Sunday that their athletes will be staying home when late July and early August rolls around. The news also includes Canada calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the quadrennial event a year.
“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health,” a statement read. “With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.”
Canada, alongside seven other Concacaf nations, were set to participate in the regional qualifying tournament from March 20 to April 1 in Guadalajara, Mexico. That was ultimately postponed, while the country’s women’s team advanced to Tokyo alongside the United States as Concacaf's two representatives.
Had the Concacaf qualifiers taken place as planned, Canada's roster would have likely had a strong MLS influence – their preliminary roster had 26 MLSers. Previously, the federation canceled international friendly matches for the men and women’s teams in British Columbia.