Racism At Children`s Soccer League in Surrey

By Sunil Narula

In what appears to be a clear case of reverse racism, an U-13 soccer team, BC Tigers Sports Club, was sidelined from competing in the United Summer Soccer Association because of a controversial rule of the Indo-Canadian Soccer Association based in Surrey.

The fault of Tiger Sports Club:- they have too many non Indo-Canadian players on their team.

The incident was brought into the open by a Surrey mom, Debbie Christiansen, and she was obviously very upset after her son Blake`s soccer team was barred from tournaments because they have too many white players.

According to mom Debbie Christiansen the rules are unfair. And The Voice agrees with her completely.

“It’s 2012. We should not have organizations by skin colour,” Christiansen said.

“All the different ethnicities and backgrounds, they get along great. They mesh very well as a team. They work hard as a team. And they have been denied the opportunity to play as a team because of their skin colour,” she said.

The soccer association in Surrey is defending its decision to ban the boys’ team from playing in its tournament because they don’t have enough players who are Indo-Canadian.
In a statement mailed to The Voice, president of the Indo-Canadian Summer Soccer Association (ISSA) Sim Sumra stated:- “Historically, these tournaments have been sponsored by Sikh Gurdwara’s and, at their heart, are about bringing Indo-Canadian youth together to promote sport, participation and culture within our community. Currently, the rules of the League state that up to four non South Asian players may play for a single team. As with all of the Association rules, the volunteer board of directors meets each winter to discuss any and all potential rule changes for the upcoming season. The rule in question will also be assessed, but we as a board remain committed to the spirit of the intent of the league.

“Like many other cultures and ethnic groups who have similar programs in place for local ethnic leagues in soccer, as well as other sports, we believe that having a privately funded Indo Canadian soccer association is important for bringing our young people together in a celebration of both sport and their culture. We respect the rights of all other ethnic community based soccer leagues in BC, as well as dozens of others across the country in many different sports, to have their leagues run as they choose.“

But the point is do we want our children to differentiate and say we do not want to play with such and such individual because of the colour of their skin.

If other communities like the Chinese have their own leagues and have restrictions on others not playing in their league even that is wrong.

Just because some other communities are having their own league with such biased rules, that does not justify the unfair rules in place of the Surrey- based league. We should not put such ideas into young minds that some children should be debarred from playing in their league because they are of a particular skin colour.

And even if this league is being funded by the Gurdwara, the soccer matches are being played on Canadian grounds. These soccer fields were not created by the Gurdwara but came into place with tax-payers money from all over BC. And all children irrespective of the colour of their skin have a clear right to play on these grounds.

If it was the other way around with Caucasians having a league with predominantly white players in their teams and there was a restriction on Indo Canadians playing in that league, surely that would be classified as racism. So, even this is racism. And this needs to stop.