WPS cancels '12 season citing legal, operational issues
Less than 24 hours after the US women’s national team wrapped up a dominating display in claiming the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament title, the lone American women’s professional soccer league has decided to cancel its 2012 season.
Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) issued a statement on Monday afternoon announcing that the league’s board of governors voted to suspend operations in 2012 “to permit the league to focus on the resolution of certain pending legal issues and the challenges that now face the league as a result of its ongoing dispute with a former owner.”
Although not mentioned by name in the press release, that former owner is magicJack’s Dan Borislow, who has been engaged in a legal battle with WPS after the league terminated his Florida-based franchise last year in the midst of a publicly contentious relationship.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled in favor of Borislow in stating that WPS did not follow procedure in eliminating the club. The court case is ongoing with further hearings set to be held.
"We have diverted so many resources into litigation,'' WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan told The Associated Press. "This is something that needs to be resolved before we can move forward with play.''
Added Sky Blue FC owner Thomas Hofstetter in a statement: "We do recognize the necessity to resolve our existing legal and operational issues so that we can continue to support and grow WPS the right way."
The three-year-old league received sanctioning from the US Soccer Federation to move forward in 2012 with only five teams and recently conducted its annual draft on Jan. 13.
Despite the ongoing legal issues, WPS is eyeing a potential return to action next year.
"With our supporters and athletes in mind, we are committed to complete the hard work necessary to resume play in 2013 and re-establish WPS as the premiere women's professional soccer league in the world,” O'Sullivan said in a league statement.