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Fargo Soccer Club claims discrimination as NDSU bans them from tournament

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-A metro soccer club is claiming discrimination by NDSU athletics.

The University is not allowing the Fargo Soccer Club to participate in a new tournament.

Club President Matt Noah says it began Thursday with NDSU calling the Club to ask if they'd like to participate in a Youth Soccer Tournament planned for late December.

But then Monday he received an email telling him they wouldn't be allowed.

Matt Noah/Fargo Soccer Club President: "It's an unrestricted, open tournament, unsanctioned, they're supposed to let everybody in."

Matt Noah says, after the call from NDSU on Thursday, he called on Friday to offer to sponsor the event and received an enthusiastic response.

But a few days later, he found an email telling him the University would be unable to allow any Fargo Soccer Club teams to participate, due to feedback that entry of the club would jeopardize other's participation.

Noah: "It's frustrating for me but what it really means, is it translates into just a denial of opportunity to the kids, and that's where the discrimination by NDSU is just horrid, I mean they're telling a bunch of kids we don't want you."

A spokesperson for NDSU Athletics wouldn't go on camera or name the groups involved, he just says the organizations said they wouldn't have much interest in the tournament if the Fargo Soccer Club was included.

He says it's in the University's best interest to fill the tournament, which is a fundraiser for the program.

Noah says tension between clubs in town are nothing new, but that this is especially unfriendly.

Noah: "This kind of underhanded stuff has no place in youth sports, and it has no place at the University either."

Noah says his club is about half the price of others, and has close to 1000 players, many of them new Americans.

He says he hopes NDSU will apologize to the kids and to the public and open up the tournament.