Olympian Charmaine Crooks appointed Canada Soccer’s interim president

Charmaine Crooks

Jamaica-born Charmaine Crooks was appointed Canada Soccer’s interim president on Wednesday last week following the resignation of Nick Bontis.

Canada Soccer noted that Crooks is the first woman and the first person of colour to lead the organization.

Bontis resigned on Monday last week amid the current labour dispute with the men’s and women’s national teams.

But how long Crooks remains in charge will depend on elections at Canada Soccer’s annual general meeting in May. She could face opposition in the May election.

Crooks, a member of the Order of Canada, is a five-time Olympian and silver medallist from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as a member of the 4×400-metre relay team. The first Canadian woman to run the 800 metres in under two minutes, Crooks has won gold medals at World Cups, the Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games.

She has been on the Canada Soccer board since 2013-14 and was elected vice-president in November 2020. She served on several Canada Soccer committees, including the emergency, strategic planning and risk management committees. She also served as Canada’s head of delegation at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, and the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Crooks previously served as a board director with the Canadian Olympic Committee and member of the IOC Athletes Commission. She currently serves on the organizing committee for FIFA Competitions.

“The job ahead for our organizations, our sport, and for the players who wear our Canadian jersey, is as important to me as any race I’ve competed in,” Crooks said in a statement. “I know and understand the calls to get this right, and I am certain that we will be able to deliver real progress for our national teams all the way on down to our grassroots.”