Mired in controversies over the alleged sexual assault case, Hockey Canada continues to sink deeper in financial crisis as its major sponsors have started moving away at least for the time it comes out clean.
Since Hockey Canada was in the process of making preparations for holding the World Junior Championship in Edmonton this summer (August), some of the sponsors, including Tim Hortons, have withdrawn themselves.
Major sponsors are continuing to flee away from Hockey Canada. Scotia Bank was the first to hold its sponsorship in abeyance. The CEO and President of Scotia Bank, Brian J. Porter, has in a letter to Hockey Canada has conveyed that the Bank was pausing sponsorship following recent reports of alleged assault involving younger ambassadors to Canada’s game. “We are committed to ensuring hockey is safe, inclusive and accessible for all”.
Yesterday, Tim Hortons followed Scotiabank, Canadian Tire and Telus on the growing list of companies that have pulled their financial support from the beleaguered national sport organization in the wake of its handling of an alleged sexual assault.
Tim Hortons said it is “suspending support” for this summer’s rescheduled men’s world junior championship in Edmonton as it awaits details on how Hockey Canada intends to take “strong and definitive action.”
The federal government has already frozen Hockey Canada’s public funding last week in response to the federation’s handling of the alleged sexual assault and its out-of-court settlement with a woman who claimed she was assaulted by members of Canada’s gold-medal winning world junior hockey team at a gala and golf function four years ago in London, Ont.
With corporate support vanishing fast, Hockey Canada will head for tougher times ahead. Even holding the World Junior Championship under the present circumstances may not be easy for the organisation facing fire from all sides.
Though Hockey Canada reportedly went for an out of Court settlement with the woman who claimed herself to be the victim of sexual assault by eight to nine players of the Junior World Cup team at a gala organised by Hockey Canada in London,
Hockey Canada did not reveal the identity of either the woman (the victim) or the players involved in the assault.
Hockey Canada, however, maintained that it did not touch the money it received as a part of the federal funding for settling the lawsuit. The money paid to the woman , Hockey Canada claimed, was organised from other channels.