Clanachan: CPL ‘very interested’ in single-site solution for return to play scenario

Canadian Premier League Commissioner David Clanachan revealed that league officials are entertaining the idea of a single-site solution for playing matches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to Atlético Ottawa supporters during the club’s virtual home opener video chat on Saturday, Clanachan explained the CPL was following other major North American leagues while developing its own COVID-19 protocols.

“We at the league office are very interested in this idea of playing an event where we bring all the teams together and how that would work,” Clanachan said.

“We think that would be very entertaining for our fans from across the country. We’ll see how it works, and it will take a lot of work to get it done. Things are starting to move along now and we’re excited.”

This comes as other North American sports leagues look at potential single-site tournaments to continue their seasons, most notably the NBA and NHL.

“We’re learning from those leagues. We’ve also prepared a lot on our own while taking the lead from Canada Soccer and others,” said Clanachan, referring to “local health organizations” in numerous provinces.

Saturday saw Bundesliga teams return to action behind closed doors. Clanachan said he watched and “took notes” on how the German top tier adapted to COVID-19 concerns.

The 2020 CPL season would have entered its sixth matchweek this weekend, with Atlético Ottawa’s home opener vs. HFX Wanderers FC slated for TD Place on Saturday.