by on April 16, 2018
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MONTREAL -- The isolation of Quebecs soccer community begins this weekend. Custom Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys . Hundreds of Ontarians are pulling out of a weekend tournament in Montreal, the mass shunning prompted by a political dispute over Quebec soccers ban on turbans. The Montreal host association has confirmed that 20 Ontario youth teams are not being allowed to come to play. An official with the Lac St-Louis Regional Soccer Association said about 170 teams, mostly from the Montreal area, were invited to take part in the weekend tournament. Director-General Edouard St-Lo says Ontario teams are not being allowed to take part because they cant get travel permits from the Ontario Soccer Association. "Why they revoked their permit? I cant tell you," St-Lo said when reached Thursday by telephone. This week, the Canadian Soccer Association suspended the Quebec Soccer Federation over its controversial turban ban. The suspension includes prohibiting Quebec teams from participating in -- or hosting -- interprovincial matches and national competitions. The dispute has attracted international news coverage and drawn in numerous politicians. It has also placed different value systems on a collision course. The current Parti Quebecois government, critics of laissez-faire multiculturalism, are defending the right to banish certain displays of religious faith from the public space in the name of secularism. The PQ has placed its support behind the QSF. One nationalist newspaper columnist in Montreal has even used the dispute to illustrate the need for Quebec independence. In an echo of the intergovernmental disputes that frequently typify Canadian federalism, Premier Pauline Marois has argued that the national association has no right to tell the provincial one what to do. However, the national body argues that it is indeed the recognized authority within the country and its decisions are binding on provincial associations. Even the Quebec federations bylaws debunk the premiers claim. The QSFs rule No. 5 says: "(The QSF) is affiliated to, and under the jurisdiction of, the Canadian Soccer Association and is subject to its rules unless it has received a specific exemption." The marching orders are clear elsewhere. In Ontario, an employee at the Toronto Soccer Association said the group takes its instructions from the Ontario Soccer Association. The TSA, which has 16 member clubs, is among the local associations to have received a notification from the provincial body indicating that until the situation is resolved it cannot approve anything that has to do with Quebec. The sanctions imposed by the national body have also received support from a number of federal politicians, in different parties. Even within Quebec, there are small pockets of resistance to the turban ban. In the more Anglo, more pro-Canada western tip of Montreal, there are hints that some local leagues might try to defy the anti-turban edict. Fern da Silva, president of the Pierrefonds Soccer Association, said in an interview that he doesnt agree with the provincial order. About 2,500 children -- including about a dozen who wear turbans -- play in the soccer group in the northwest section of the city. "In the club, weve decided that were going to do whatever we feel is right," da Silva said. "You may go to any field and not see any kid with a turban and then you might get a game where there are two or three... So far weve been able to get along, regardless of the ruling, and we havent had any issues." The provincial federation has threatened to fine referees if they let players play in religious headwear. However, da Silva said he is leaving it up to his referees to decide what to do. "My refs have already been told to be very objective about it and look at it and if theres really, really a safety issue, well deal with it," he said, adding that the Quebec federations argument that turbans are a safety issue "is totally erroneous." But da Silva isnt letting the Canadian Soccer Association off the hook, either. He said the CSA has to shoulder some of the blame because, he said, it had been unclear in its wishes and previously left the impression that provincial bodies were free to decide as they wished. Da Silva said hopes the issue is resolved as soon as possible "and we all get back to what were supposed to be doing -- looking after the kids on the field and getting as many kids as possible on the fields." As for this weekends tournament, St-Lo says hes scrambling to replace the out-of-province teams with other local teams. "Thats what were working on," he said, adding that he didnt foresee any problems trying to replace the 20 Ontario teams. Roger Clemens Jersey . 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CHICAGO -- If there ever was a time to be sure that the Cleveland Cavaliers epic three-game win streak to finish the NBA Finals and beat the Golden State Warriors for the championship was a thing of a past, this weeks three-game losing streak -- capped by a 111-105 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls on Friday -- hammered that point home.Weve got to get out of the honeymoon stage, a visibly frustrated LeBron James said after he had a personal 30-game winning streak broken for his teams when he totaled 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. Thats yalls headline for tomorrow. I know yall going to use it.James finished with 27 points and 13 assists, but he also had a season-high eight turnovers -- giving him 20 turnovers during the three consecutive losses.While he had a part in the Cavs undoing, it was Chicagos 78 points in the paint that really stood out as the reason for their demise. This came after Cleveland was outscored 68-34 in the paint during the first loss of the skid against the Milwaukee Bucks and 30-18 in the second loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.Youve got to play the game the right way, James continued. Youve got to battle every night like we aint won nothing. Last year is last year, and after ring night, its over with. Now its a new season and everybody is gunning for us every night, and we have to understand that. The honeymoon stage is over, and its time to play some real ball and be physical, especially in the trenches. Giving up 78 points is ridiculous. Weve got to man up. Everybody.Its the first three-game losing streak of Tyronn Lues tenure as head coach, after being elevated to the position at midseason last year.Weve got to do better, Lue said after the Cavs lead for the top seed in the Eastern Conference fell to just half a game over the Toronto Raptors. Concerned, I wouldnt say that. We are a good team, but right now, were not playing like it. Well be better, and thats on me to make it better.Lue pointed to his responsibility to come up with better schemes defensively, while also mentioning his players necessity to play better one-on-one defense.Cavs forward Kevin Love, who finished with 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting with nine rebounds while often matched against Chicagos Taj Gibson (23 points, 10 for 13 shooting,, 11 rebounds), joined his coach in shouldering the blame. Aaron Sanchez Jersey. I think myself, I was bad tonight, Love said. I mean, just getting to those different rotations and being locked in. We needed to be more in tune with what were trying to do and have that next man up mentality.A night that started with a spectacle, as a pack of approximately 50 media members swarmed James with cameras to capture his pregame attire -- a full-fledged Chicago Cubs uniform to settle a World Series bet with Dwyane Wade -- ended with a despondent Cavs locker room.We dont want to drop three in a row, but its happened, Kyrie Irving?said. And now we figure out where we can get better, things that we need to correct and we move forward. Obviously, all of us are competitive players, were winners, and going forward we just got to be better. But theres no need for controversy or any of that or us overthinking it. Its just basketball.Weve got to go out there and just compete at a high level and do it consistently over a 48-minute game. Thats all. And I think right now, were doing it in bits and pieces. Were getting out to a good start in first quarters, were hitting guys [early], and sometimes the game can take a shift. But with that, weve got to keep playing and rely on one another.On Thursday, following the Cavs second loss in a row, James downplayed the significance of the rut they had found themselves in.The best thing about this league is you kind of always get an opportunity right away to be better, he said, pointing to the second night of the back-to-back ahead of them in Chicago. Now, three games in a row, thats something to talk about.Reminded of that quote postgame on Friday night, James simply quipped, Weve got to be better.Lue also was reminded of James quote after the loss to the Clippers, which read like an invitation for the media to question the Cavs should they not get back on track in Chicago.Well, now you got something to talk about, Lue said. And its not going to get any easier. 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