Langley United Soccer Association technical director Mark Parker came to Township council Monday to lobby for increased access to municipal artificial turf fields.

Turf wars in Township

Pair of local soccer leagues make a pitch to council for field access

The fighting by Langley-area youth soccer leagues over access to playing fields drew some critical comments from Langley Township council, Monday, Oct. 27.

Langley United Soccer Association (LUSA) technical director Mark Parker had come to council to argue for more playing time, taking several swipes at rival Langley FC (LFC) in the process.

Parker told Township council it’s time the municipality took a “re-look” at the way it parcels out access to playing fields.

A 33-page written brief filed with council by LUSA complains the current field allocation system allows teams with a majority of non-Langley players to claim turf time and permits teams to under-use sought-after artificial turf fields.

Among other things, the brief complains that the smaller LFC will be entitled to claim more turf time because it has just added 173 players, as a result of the recent decision by the  British Columbia Soccer Association (BCSA) to merge the Fraser Valley FC into LFC.

“The majority of those players are not Langley residents,” Parker told council.

The written brief also gives more details about the 16-week suspension of LUSA president Dave Kasper by the BCSA, saying eight weeks of the suspension was “for calling an Aldergrove Youth Soccer Association FV board member a name during a board meeting and repeating the word in an email to [Township] Parks and Rec staff” and five weeks were for behaviour not “in the best interest of the game” that included what the BCSA board called “continuously filing frivolous complaints to the TOL [Township] regarding operations of LFC and their misuse of fields.”

Councillor Charlie Fox said the fighting isn’t good for the kids on the teams.

“I don’t like what’s happening to soccer in this Township,” Fox told Parker.

Other members of council expressed similar concerns during the afternoon session of council earlier the same day.

Councillor Kim Richter said Township staff should investigate the matter and prepare a report.

“There’s something going on here,” Richter said.

Councillor Steve Ferguson said staff have been trying to “referee” the disputes.

“There have been challenges, I’ll say … between the two soccer associations,” Ferguson said.

The LUSA presentation came one week after the LFC went to council to report the merger with the Fraser Valley FC.

An Oct. 17 press release issued by the BCSA said Fraser Valley FC had experienced “significant challenges in accessing field assignments” and had asked the BCSA board for help.

Langley FC Soccer Club president Rob Jandric said the former all-girls club has grown to more than 1,300 — 360 boys and 664 girls plus about 300 players in Langley FC’s men’s and women’s programs.

LUSA, in its written submission to council, said it has 2,300 registered youth players.

— with files from Gary Ahuja

Just Posted

Where to find community holiday feasts in Langley

A variety of groups are hosting free meals for the Langley community to fill up on.

Surrey boy’s birthday wish raises $13,500 for rescued farm animals in Aldergrove

Matthew Farden received a large donation from the mister Blake Foundation towards a sanctuary farm.

Langley Mounties get new tool to find drunk drivers

New legislation take effect this week that will allow broader breathalyzer testing.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

BCIHL Young Stars lose hard-fought hockey game to Kazakhstan at Langley Events Centre

Coach calls it ‘a great opportunity for those guys to have an international experience’

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Coquihalla closed between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Lower Mainland man receives apology after getting kicked out of library

Mike Wilson fears the same treatment he received Nov. 2 by security guards will happen to others

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Most Read