– Bill Currie, BC Soccer Web
Montreal Impact confirmed today that they have signed former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. Even at 37, Drogba’s skill and size will make him a major acquisition and feared opponent throughout Major League Soccer. The move also brought speculation on what impact he could have on the Whitecaps’ upcoming Voyageurs Cup Final against Montreal.
BC Soccer Web posed the question to the Canadian Soccer Association on Sunday night. The CSA confirmed in a tweet to BC Soccer Web on Monday morning that Drogba would not be eligible to play in the final. Teams were required to submit a 30 player eligibility list for the Amway Canadian Championship back in April. At the time, it looked like the Voyageurs Cup could be one domestic trophy the Ivory Coast star wouldn’t get his hands on.
The CSA clarified at 1:15 PM PDT the four conditions that must be met in order to add a player to the ACC-eligible roster, according to the competition rules. The relevant conditions in this case are that Montreal must have submitted fewer than 30 names on their original roster back in April, and that Didier Drogba must complete his International Transfer Certificate in time for the final.
The first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship Final is Wednesday, August 12 in Montreal. The return leg in Vancouver is August 26.
Some Montreal fans took to Twitter to criticize the CSA for the original ruling, noting the MLS transfer window that occurs between the last two rounds of the ACC tournament. However, the CSA acknowledged at that time that the situation was an anomaly for this season, as the Canadian Soccer Association is transitioning the Amway Canadian Championship to a summer schedule format.
The Amway Canadian Championship is an annual tournament played by Canada’s professional teams to determine a national champion. The winner is awarded the Voyageurs Cup; a trophy founded and funded by Canadian soccer supporters, The Voyageurs. This year’s Voyageurs Cup champion will also qualify for the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League.