Canadian Football, Canadian NFL reach agreement in long term deal

Published May 5, 2023 12:12 PM ET

Football Canada has partnered with NFL Canada to support and grow the sport in the country. The National Football League logo appears on the 50-yard line for NFL Super Bowl 56 in Inglewood, California, Sunday, February 13, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP – Kyusung Gong

TORONTO — Football Canada has partnered with NFL Canada to support and grow the sport in the country.

The three-year deal, announced Friday, will focus on youth participation programs (boys and girls, aged eight to 12) and coaching clinics in Canada, with the aim of helping develop women’s soccer.

NFL Canada will also support the Soccer Canada youth flag football program for “underserved communities” while strengthening players’ pathways to international competition.

“We are excited to be partnering with Football Canada to support the growth of football at every level across the country,” said David Thomson, managing director of NFL Canada, in a statement. “Making our sport more accessible, with a focus on engaging and inspiring more young people to play or be part of it, is a top priority for us.

“We look forward to working with Football Canada to further develop opportunities and pathways to playing football for all.”

Football Canada President Jim Mullin said the agreement would help strengthen the sport north of the border.

“Our goal is to deliver programs to get more young people in Canada to play football and stay in sports of all forms, a goal shared by the NFL,” he said. “Simply put, the NFL is here to support what we are doing to grow football across the country.”

The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. But Mullin added the deal gave Football Canada a stronger foundation as the country’s national governing body.

“The financial package is the largest a third party has ever put in place for Football Canada.” he says. “We believe this partnership has the ability to transform our organization’s presence in the national landscape and support our members at the grassroots.”

Mullin said the deal with NFL Canada aligns with initiatives Football Canada has with the CFL and CFL Players’ Associations.

“Football Canada is involved with the CFL on a refereeing task force and there is a significant financial component attached to the development of refereeing in Canada, which is required,” he said. “NFL Canada will help us develop coaching and women’s soccer, the CFL is working with us on developing refereeing and the CFLPA will work with us on safety.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2023.

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