HomeSportsFormer Canada Soccer president Jim Fleming dead at age 87

Former Canada Soccer president Jim Fleming dead at age 87

Former Canada Soccer president Jim Fleming, who helped lead Canada to its first males’s World Cup, has died on the eve of Canada’s return to the soccer showcase.

Canada Soccer stated Fleming died Thursday in Edmonton. He was 87.

“We misplaced an incredible man in the present day who was a unbelievable father and our hero,” Sean Fleming, a former Canadian nationwide workforce youth coach, stated in a social media put up. “He fought a brave battle towards COVID. [Canada Soccer] now has an incredible fan in heaven and has an incredible seat for all of the video games. RIP Dad. God Bless.”

Fleming, a member of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame, served as president from 1982 to 1986 after which once more from 1998 to 2002. He made some key hires throughout each tenures, placing England’s Tony Waiters and Germany’s Holger Osieck in control of the Canadian males with on-field success to comply with.

Former Canada Soccer COO Kevan Pipe bear in mind Fleming as “an individual who pressured a company to get higher. And to get higher by pondering of various methods of doing issues, of fixing organizational instructions. And bringing in some folks to be a part of that new change course of.

“And that is a reasonably excessive praise in my books.”

Waiters led Canada to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. And the Canadian males below Osieck gained the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup which certified Canada for the 2001 Confederations Cup in Japan.

Pipe, who spent 25 years at Canada Soccer, remembered Fleming one of many smartest males he has ever met.

“At the identical time, in some methods — and I imply this in a really very complimentary trend — he was a disrupter. He would go in and shake a company to think about different methods of doing enterprise. Which in enterprise you have to do. We all have to vary to altering occasions. And consequently it could case some extent of discomfort. But it could additionally power the group to get higher.

Born Feb. 28, 1935, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Fleming moved to Canada together with his spouse Kathleen in 1968 and went on to labored for the Alberta authorities for greater than 30 years.

Trailblazer in youth, ladies’s soccer

During his first time period as president, Fleming was in cost in the course of the amalgamation of the Canadian Youth Soccer Association into Canada Soccer in 1982 and the inauguration of Canada Soccer’s first ladies’s nationwide championship that very same 12 months.

He additionally oversaw the hiring of Waiters as nationwide males’s coach in 1982. The Canadian males went on to qualify for the 1984 Olympics — dropping to Brazil within the quarterfinals in a penalty shootout — and gained the CONCACAF Championship in 1985 to qualify for the World Cup in Mexico.

“I’m very glad for the gamers and coach Tony Waiters in reaching [the FIFA World Cup in] Mexico. All of them overcame trials and tribulations in magnificent trend within the qualifying rounds,” Fleming stated in 1985. “In quick, I’m a really proud Canadian.”

During his second stint at the helm, he oversaw the 1998 hiring of Osieck, who led the Canada males to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown.

“We have not been capable of do ever since,” stated Pipe. “Now hopefully within the subsequent couple of weeks we see this unbelievable squad of younger proficient gamers make their mark within the [Qatar] World Cup and trigger numerous thrilling issues to occur. That’s in all probability an extension of what occurred 20 years in the past.”

In late 1999, Fleming put Norway’s Even Pellerud in control of the Canadian ladies. Pellerud gave a debut to a 16-year-old Christine Sinclair and led Canada to fourth place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003.

‘Always main by instance’

Fleming additionally served on the CONCACAF government committee from 1986 to 1998, together with eight years as senior vice-president from 1990 to 1998. In 2002, he was honoured by the CONCACAF Hall of Fame and obtained the FIFA Order of Merit.

He was honoured as an Alberta Soccer Life Member in 1987 and was a recipient of Canada Soccer’s Aubrey Sanford Meritorious Service Award in 1997. Before serving as Canada Soccer president, he headed Alberta Soccer from 1975 to 1980.

Fleming’s work ethic was intense.

“As a lot as you would possibly moan about your personal hours or time or what have you ever, he would at all times be main by instance. Nobody labored as laborious as him,” Pipe stated.

Fleming was additionally a Canada Soccer Life Member, a distinction offered “to those that have rendered precious service to Canada.”

Fleming is survived by his kids Sean, Anne, (*87*) and Angela. Kathleen, his spouse of 60 years, died in 2016.

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