Rigid Ban Against American Soccer Teams
The soccer war inaugurated by the Dominion Football Association against the United States Football Association is the subject of much discussion in American soccer circles and while the real conditions were no doubt known by those on the inside of soccer doings, many reasons for this attitude are advanced by the casual soccer enthusiast. The states of the relations between the Canadian soccer association and the American soccer teams was brought to light when W. L. Lewis, secretary of the Bethlehem Steel team, negotiated for games with Canadian teams and was informed that while there was no personal feeling existing, no games could be arranged with Americans as long as the feud exists and that membership of the U. S. F. A. in the International Federation was solely responsible for the soccer war. This story emanating from across the border puts to rest the story advanced that Toronto soccer players had differences with the Bethlehem team. The situation, however, is that some United States teams have played with soccer organizations that do not discriminate against Germany and as British and Scottish organizations do not play with associations or organizations that tolerate German players, Canadian players could not consistently take any other attitude. Some sports critics in America have taken exception to this attitude and point to certain athletic carnivals, the Olympic games at Antwerp in particular, in which there was no discrimination and the English and Canadian athletes participated with athletes from countries against which the soccer organizations discriminate. These writers contend that if English representatives were willing to compete for world-wide honors against athletes representing countries against soccer organizations have drawn the ban, the action taken relative to soccer is decidedly inconsistent and by no means merited. Many American followers of the game will agree with the sentiments of these critics and look upon the attitude of the Dominion Soccer Association with disapproval.
Dominion Will Remain Loyal to Motherland
From Ottawa, Can., comes a press dispatch that found space in the columns of American newspapers, in which the stand taken by the Dominion Football Association is revealed. Discussing the recent proposed visit of the Bethlehem team to Toronto, Billy Fenton, writing in the Toronto Telegram, says:
Across the border some individuals have only just sensed the fact that a soccer "war" exists between the United States Football Association and the Dominion Football Association. Ever since that day at St. Louis, when the Americans backed up a German-born proposal to oust Great Britain from her right to continue to take a leading part in the government of the sport of soccer, which she has built up to its present high standing, and the Motherland resented the insult by withdrawing from the International Federation, the "war" has been on. Just as long as the Motherland stands proudly aloof from all soccer organizations who have stuck with those of the Central Powers, and the U. S. F. A. is one, the Dominion will do likewise.
The New York Herald is wrong when it states that plans had been perfected for a trip to the Dominion by the Bethlehem team as there had to be canceled because Canadians would not have the steel plant outfit. W. L. Lewis, secretary of the Bethlehem team committee, only asked if the T & D was prepared to offer a date and a financial proposal to the American team. This suggestion, in view of the insult offered the British Football Association by the action of a section of the U. S. F. A. at the last annual meeting in St. Louis, the T & D delegates refused to entertain.
The "war" so far as Canada is concerned is not with the Bethlehem players, who are mostly British-born, but with the U. S. F. A., and there will not be a change of attitude on the part of T & D or any other soccer body in the Dominion while the U. S. F. A. continues a member of the International Federation whose affairs the Central Powers are seeking to dominate. It may so happen that at the next annual meeting of the U. S. F. A. the pro-German element will be thrown out neck and crop. One thing is certain and that is that true-hearted Americans connected with the U. S. F. A. will see to it that a control of proxy votes will note again be permitted to endanger the game in America and further sour for the time being the good fellowship which until this year existed between the U. S. F. A. and the Football Association.
Erie Protest May be Sustained
The Bethlehem soccer management is making extensive preparations to entertain the Robins Dry Docks eleven on the Bethlehem Steel Athletic Field in a fourth round American Cup game on Saturday, despite the fact that there is still an element of uncertainty relative to the staging of the contest on that date. This element of uncertainty is advanced by the protest registered by the Erie F. C. prior to starting the game with Robins Dry Docks last Sunday on Todd's Field of the replay tie game in the fourth round National Cup. It appears that on Dec. 23 the Erie management laid an objection to Todd Field being unsuitable for the game on the ground that the playing pitch is under the required dimensions and also that the seating accommodations were not right. Bethlehem, the previous season, it is believed, played an important match game on the same field and lost and while the playing conditions were not regarded as favorable, no protest was made. The game with Robins here on Saturday, therefore, is pending the disposition of the protest when the National Cup committee gets together in Newark, N. J., to make the draw for the fifth round. Should the committee sustain the protest, the likelihood is that the game will be ordered replayed the following Sunday. While locally it is felt that the protest will be overruled, the more skeptical fans feel that action will be governed by the disposition made in similar cases, in one of which it is believed Bethlehem was concerned. Some weeks ago, it is understood, the Bethlehem club objected to a second round game with the Erie A. A. being played on Clark's Field, and gave as its objection exactly the same reasons as the Erie objection. In this case Chairman Manning upheld the objection and the Erie A. A. was compelled to engage Harrison Field. Erie won the game and eliminated the Steel Workers from further competition in the National Cup.