Montreal’s first international beach soccer tournament could be with out one of its main draws because Canadian Immigration has denied travel visas for a team of Moroccan players.
Organizers say the reason the players were denied is because they don’t make enough money in their native country and Immigration Canada is afraid they players will stay in country after the tournament.
The local Moroccan community (which numbers nearly 100 000 in Montreal) says they’re being singled out. Other teams such as Mexico, Brazil and Italy were allowed to send their teams to the event.
And local government worries this could jeopardize efforts to bring the women’s world cup of beach soccer to Montreal in 2013.
Listen to the report witch aired for CBC Daybreak Montreal on August 16, 2012
***UPDATE*** (August 17th, 2012) – The Moroccan team’s final appeal to Immigration Canada was rejected and organizers replaced them in the tournament with a Montreal Impact alumni team