CFL ‘full-throttle’ on an 18-game schedule, says commissioner Randy Ambrosie

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Author of the article: Dan Barnes  •  Postmedia” Publishing date: Feb 18, 2021  •  1 hour ago  •  2 minute read CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie speaks at a news conference in Halifax on January 23, 2020. Photo by Andrew Vaughan /Canadian Press Four months before the Canadian Football League is set to kick off its 2021…

CFL ‘full-throttle’ on an 18-game schedule, says commissioner Randy Ambrosie
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Author of the article:

Dan Barnes  •  Postmedia”

Publishing date:

Feb 18, 2021  •  1 hour ago  •  2 minute read

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie speaks at a news conference in Halifax on January 23, 2020. Photo by Andrew Vaughan /Canadian Press

Four months before the Canadian Football League is set to kick off its 2021 season, the commissioner remains committed to an 18-game schedule.

“We’re going to play a full season,” Randy Ambrosie said on Thursday. “But we’re also going to have the ability to be flexible and that’s the other side of this. You have to be adaptable and flexible according to whatever circumstances come our way.

“So, we are full-throttle on our plans for a full season, but every element of every dimension of the plan is being reviewed through the lens of how will we be able to adapt to the circumstances that we find at the time when decisions need to be made.”

Normally, Ambrosie wouldn’t need to confirm the league’s desire to play a full schedule. But there is nothing normal about trying to return to the field as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, especially after the proposed six-game 2020 season was cancelled. And some CFL sources have already suggested that the persistence of COVID-19 will limit the 2021 season to 12 or 14 games per team and a kickoff in August.

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Those dire predictions were made before the federal government released new vaccination timelines on Thursday. With current vaccine allotments from Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna, 14.5 million Canadians could be vaccinated by the end of June. If regulatory approval is granted to three more vaccines — AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and Novavax — that number would increase to 24.5 million Canadians by the end of June, and it would ensure enough supply to administer two doses to everyone in the country by the end of September.

“We are still very hopeful that the vaccine rollout will accelerate,” said Ambrosie. “We hang on the announcements being made by government officials and health care officials. We are listening and watching and talking with great intensity to all levels of government to get their take on the status of the vaccine rollout because we do know that it’s going to play a major role in getting all of us back to a more normal existence.”

Having the entire population vaccinated would ease travel restrictions and facilitate the gathering of larger in-stadium crowds; two issues currently affecting the CFL’s ability to return to play.

dbarnes@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/sportsdanbarnes

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