The Campbell River U13 boys rep team won their division in the Surrey Mayor’s Cup in 2018. (Photo: bclocalnews.com)

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

Organizers of the Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament have had a change of heart about team refunds.

Partial refunds will now be given to teams that weren’t able to play in the mid-March tournament, which was cancelled on short notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details are included in a news release posted to surreymayorscup.com on Tuesday (April 7).

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club, made official at SFC’s annual general meeting on Sunday (April 5).

On March 25, the tourney’s host club, Central City Breakers (CCBFC), sent teams a letter saying refunds won’t be available for the cancelled 2020 tournament – a move that angered some of the 207 teams that had registered for the event, billed as “B.C.’s premier youth soccer tournament.”

• READ MORE: ‘Shocking decision’: Surrey soccer club won’t offer refunds to teams for cancelled tourney.

Tuesday’s announcement said teams can apply for a refund and be eligible for amounts ranging from $340 to $425, depending on the age group.

The refund form is now available on the Surrey Mayor’s Cup website and teams have until April 30, 2020, to fill this form out,” says the release, from the unnamed tournament director. “Once the deadline for the refund request is expired all teams that didn’t apply would be deemed to have accepted the option (of) a credit.

“It is important to note that Surrey Football Club has made $20,000.00 in funds available to the Surrey Mayors Cup committee and its tournament director to be able to facilitate this refund,” the release adds.

“On behalf of the Surrey Mayors Cup Committee, we would like to thank the Surrey Football Club for this great gesture and hope that all teams can use the credit option and be able to participate in the tournament next year. In this unprecedented time, we hope that the soccer community including clubs, districts, provincial bodies, teams, coaches, players and parents can all come together and help all of us make it through these tough times.”

Tourney registration fees range from $490 to $575 per team, depending on age.

Tuesday’s announcement says the board of directors of the newly formed Surrey Football Club will release the financial summary of the tournament for public consumption, and has pledged to host Surrey Mayor’s Cup for years to come.

All teams are eligible for a full credit for next year’s event, the release notes. “All teams can transfer this credit to a team of their choice and in case that is not possible, once registrations open, Surrey Mayor’s Cup committee will try their best to find a team for them where the credit could be used and team can get all their monies back.”

The tournament committee says it “undertook the painful decision of cancelling the 2020 Mayor’s Cup” just hours before the tournament was about to begin, following a BC Soccer memo saying all activity was suspended due to the pandemic.

“With the province, country and world in a state of emergency, it is entirely unfeasible to plan an alternate date for 2020,” Tuesday’s news release states. “Surrey Mayor’s Cup incurred substantive cost to date with respect to organizing the event and had no hand in the global events forcing cancellation.The tournament was cancelled on Thursday afternoon (March 12), a day before matches were set to begin and teams were already picking up their packages; the park was set up and the majority of fields were lined and ready to go for the weekend.

“The Central City Breakers FC was no longer going to be in operation since the Special General Meeting earlier in February approved a merger with Surrey Football Club and had no financial resources available to supplement Surrey Mayor’s Cup committee to offer refunds in excess of monies available to SMC Committee,” the release adds.

“The hosting of the tournament was never in question as part of the amalgamation agreement was a pledge by Surrey Football Club to host the tournament for years to come. The outgoing Surrey Mayor’s Cup Committee as well as the Board of Directors of the (then) Central City Breakers FC, given the limited resources available to them, made the only decision available to them which was to provide full credits to all teams to either participate in next year’s event or pass the credit to any other team to participate in the event.”

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