NEW YORK: The viability of women’s full-time professional football has been placed in question again after the collapse of a second attempt to establish a league in the United States.
Following an example commonly and tiresomely used in other American professional sports, the governing board of Women’s Professional Soccer has voted to suspend the 2012 season with hopes of resuming in 2013.
The latest drastic action, which does nothing for the game’s image in the US, follows the termination of the South Florida franchise after a dispute last year with owner Dan Borislow. A Florida judge ruled earlier this month that the league failed to follow its own dispute procedures when it terminated the franchise.
Jennifer O’Sullivan, ceo of WPS, said that owners had preferred to cancel the entire season rather than work on with Borislow. She said: “We have diverted so many resources into litigation. This is something that needs to be resolved before we can move forward with play.”
Borislow purchased the former Washington Freedom before last season and moved the club to South Florida, renaming it after his own company’s telephone call device – magicJack.
However the franchise was disciplined sanctioned during the season for not meeting league standards. He sued WPS which, in return, accused him in august of violations ranging from ‘unprofessional and disparaging treatment of his players’ to ‘failure to pay his bills.’
The league has played three seasons and had been given special permission by the US Soccer Federation last December to continue in 2012 even though it had slipped to only five teams, below the required eight.
WPS agreed to increase the number of teams to a minimum of six for 2013 and at least eight for 2014.
An earlier attempt to build a women’s professional league a decade, after the national team’s World Cup and Olympic successes, failed within two years.