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CFL postpones start of May training camp

The CFL is going to be delayed out of the gate due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve got the league’s latest statement.

Jake Thomas of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers celebrates with the Grey Cup after a win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Calgary, Canada. Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images

The Canadian Football League announced on Monday that the opening of training camp is going to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rookie camp was scheduled to start May 11th and full camp on May 17th. Commissioner Randy Ambrose released a statement in which he would not commit to a new date because as we are all aware, any timetable will be dictated by the virus itself.

The CFL player draft is scheduled for April 30th, but the global draft for non-Canadian and non-American citizens has been rescheduled. It was set to coincide with the start of training camp, but that is now up in the air.

Here’s the full statement from Ambrose:

As of today, the opening of CFL training camps will be postponed. The ongoing global pandemic and the resulting directives issued by various governments make it unsafe to proceed with plans to gather our athletes and coaches together as scheduled. (Until today, full CFL training camps had been scheduled to open on May 17, and rookie camps had been scheduled to open as early as May 11.)

As for our future plans, we are in the hands of our public health officials, the advice they are providing governments, and the directives those governments are issuing to us all, and we acknowledge their timetable will be dictated by the virus itself. We will make further decisions when we can and share them with our fans and the public as soon as possible.

The CFL and its member clubs would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans, partners, players, prospects, coaches and staff, for their dedication and patience as we face this challenge. We are facing it together, even if we have to be physically apart. An additional thank you to everyone doing their part to fight the virus. Please wash your hands, stay home and practice social distancing. The sooner we stop the spread, the sooner we can get back to normal – and back to football.

Finally, but most importantly, we want to express our gratitude to the people on the front lines of healthcare and the supply chain. Your hard and courageous work – to inform us, feed us and care for us, our communities and our loved ones – makes you our champions.

We at the CFL are pragmatic optimists. Our pragmatism dictates that, unfortunately, training camps cannot go forward as scheduled. But our optimism remains strong. We continue to look forward to a CFL season and the Grey Cup.