The Montreal Impact is currently considering moving the team outside of the city of Montreal to train as local health authorities refuse to give them the green light to return to action.
Currently, the Impact is one of six teams in Major League Soccer that has still not received approval to resume group training.
Kevin Gilmore, the club’s CEO and President, alluded to the possibility of moving the team to a different location if they cannot get the provincial government’s approval to train in an interview with TSN 690 on The Montreal Forum.
“Taking the team and training outside of the city is honestly something that we might have to consider. We don’t have much choice,” said Gilmore. “The priority is the safety and health of the players. Our next priority is remaining competitive if play resumes. It’s not like these athletes can return to action after training for one day.”
On May 7, Santé Montréal, the city’s public health organization, rejected their request for individual workouts, forcing players to train on their own. The Impact’s latest attempts to return to Centre Nutrilait have since been rebuffed.
On Thursday, the Montreal Impact announced that midfielder Steeven Saba broke his foot on a routine jog in the city. The Haitian international will be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks with the injury.
Gilmore remains puzzled by the decision, claiming the injury could have been avoided.
“Steeveb Saba fractured his left foot running in the streets of Montreal,” said Gilmore. “I can guarantee you this would not have happened at Centre Nutrilait.”
Gilmore later revealed the club is in constant contact with the city, but their discussions have not yet yielded any results.
“We contacted the city as well as the regional and provincial health departments and we’re still waiting on a solution,” said Gilmore on Wednesday. “Nothing is happening. We got the same answer we got on May 7, it’s been two weeks. If golf, tennis, barbecues and hair salons are opening, I ask myself, if they have forgotten about us?”
The Impact recently released a video detailing the safety protocol they have put in place at Centre Nutrilait in hopes of getting the city’s green light.
“We proposed a very strict protocol that focuses on everything, from when a player leaves his car up until he returns home,” said Gilmore.
Before play was suspended, the Impact were in fine form, progressing to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League as well as claiming four out of a possible six points in league action. With most MLS clubs slowly returning to action, the Impact will be eager to hit the ground running upon the restart and follow up on their encouraging start.