CIF State commissioner disputes claim new club football league has its ‘blessing’

CIF State Commissioner Ron Nocetti said on Sunday that an organization that has started a club soccer league in Southern California is violating state guidelines for youth sports.

Nocetti responded to one report Saturday by an NBC affiliate in Palm Springs who claimed that the CIF has given “their blessing” to athletes to enter the competition started by the Corona-based Winner Circle Athletics.

According to state youth guidelines announced by the California Department of Public Health in August, matches are not allowed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The secondary schools were told last week that they can only expect new guidelines after January 1.

Nocetti said he was upset that the report claimed the CIF was backing the new league, Winner Circle Champions League, due to the uncertainty of the high school football season this school year.

“There was a news report published last night by an NBC affiliate in Palm Springs that said the CIF gave their blessing and allowed these high school athletes to participate in the WCCL,” Nocetti said. “We contacted this news source … it is not in our authority to even give a boon with the current CDPH guidelines, which does not allow youth sports competitions.”

Winner Circle Athletics has said the competition will include 20 teams from all over Southern California and some from out of state.

Last week, Centennial High defensive lineman Korey Foreman, considered one of the best football recruits for the 2021 class, told Spectrum News 1 that he will play in the WCCL this season and not for Centennial. Foreman said he made the decision after the CIF State announced Tuesday, Dec. 1 that football and other fall sports are on hold until new state guidelines are released by the CDPH.