PFC signs five returnees while CPL commissioner vows 2021 season will proceed

Pacific FC re-signed another group of returning players with Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan vowing they will have a season to play in during 2021.

Friday’s signings were of goalkeeper Callum Irving, mercurial attackers Victor Blasco and Terran Campbell, Canada-capped midfielder Jamar Dixon and emerging defender Abdou Samake out of the NCAA Big Ten University of Michigan Wolverines.

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That brings to 16 the number of players Island-based PFC has under contract, 15 of them returnees from the squad that made the four-team playoff round in the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 CPL season played in a bubble in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The high-profile PFC addition has been Canada-capped midfielder Manny Aparicio.

The league commissioner, meanwhile, promised a 2021 season in comments following Thursday night’s 2020 CPL awards ceremony, which was broadcast online.

“We are planning to play in 2021. We will do what we have to. We will make sure we’re out on the field,” said Clanachan.

What form that takes is uncertain at the moment. “We don’t know what that looks like right now, only because we are in the middle of a second wave. So we’ll follow the right protocols,” added Clanachan.

“But we want to play. It’s important for people to be able to celebrate. We, as humans, like interactions. We are social beings. And part of what brings us together is sport. Whether it be virtually or digitally, or whether in person, it’s important for all of our well-being. So we are committed to play in 2021 for our fans and supporters.”

The COVID situation is bad in parts of Canada, but a vaccination program is expected to begin in early January with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday projecting a continuous rollout through the first three-quarters with completion nationally by September. A normal CPL season runs from April to October.

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