The Manitoba Soccer Association Inc. was formerly the Manitoba Football Association, founded in 1896 and was incorporated in 1963 to promote, develop and govern the game of soccer in Manitoba. Manitoba has a long soccer history going back to records of games played in the 1880's.
The first meeting of the Canadian Soccer Association was held in Winnipeg in 1912 and the Norwood Wanderers won the first two National Championships in 1913 and 1914.
Although soccer had been played in Manitoba and the North-West of Canada for decades, it was not until the 1890's that the game was brought under the umbrella of a provincial organization. The growth of soccer in rural Manitoba and Winnipeg hastened the need for a uniform direction in administrating and it was in 1896 that representatives of the teams, leagues and patrons of soccer established the Manitoba Football Association (MFA) as the supreme authority for the game.
In the early years, the MFA adopted a standardized set of rules, registration system for the various teams and leagues, and administration structure which divided the Province into numerous districts. The MFA also promoted exhibition matches in Manitoba and also helped fund tours of prominent teams in southern Ontario. The diligence of the MFA also influenced the establishment of the Dominion of Canada Football Association (DFA) in Winnipeg 1912 and for the next four decades, Manitoba had a prominent role in the administration of the game at the national level. This was manifested in the MFA's dominance in the organization and hosting of the Dominion Football Championship on many occasions throughout the 1920's and 30's. Winnipeger George Anderson, a member of the Canadian and Manitoba Sports Halls of Fame, was the Secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association and was instrumental in making Manitoba the centre of national soccer organization. Although the MFA's role in the national structure declined somewhat in the late 1950's and early 60's, its work at the provincial level was extremely proactive.
The MFA influenced the establishment of the Manitoba Junior Football Association (MJFA) in the 1920's in order to develop youth soccer. Indeed, the system fed talented players to the senior leagues but the important work of the MJFA was halted by the Second War War. In the min - 1950's youth soccer experienced a revival which led to the MFA's involvement in the mid - 1960's and eventual creation of the youth soccer association later that decade. In addition to its interest in youth soccer, the MFA also helped organize tours of national sides from the United Kingdom as well as professional European teams from the 1920's to the 1960's.
The administration of soccer was in a period of flux during the 1960's. The sport was primed for an explosion of activity with the impending creation of the senior leagues and increased interest in youth soccer. As the successor to the MFA, the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA) oversaw an unprecedented period of growth in the late 1960's and 1970's. Through its numerous affiliated leagues and associations, the MSA has guided tens of thousands of Manitobans in their participation in the sport and helped facilitate the inception of professional soccer in Manitoba with the Winnipeg Fury. Most recently, the MSA's members participated in the organization of the 1999 Pan Am Games soccer competition and hosted three Canadian National Men's soccer team matches related to qualification for the 2002 World Cup.
The year 2001 marks the 105th anniversary of the administration of soccer in Manitoba. The MSA truly has a proud heritage of governance which should be recognized and celebrated.
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