November 14 – The U.S. Supreme Court has reached out to President Joe Biden’s administration for its views on whether the justices should proceed with the U.S. Soccer Federation’s bid to bar a lawsuit accusing it of conspiring with FIFA to prohibit overseas clubs from playing official matches in the United States.
Relevant Sports Group is embroiled in a long-standing dispute with the USSF claiming in a lawsuit filed in 2019 that it illegally conspired with FIFA to prevent overseas clubs and leagues from holding competitive matches in the country.
In 2021, US District Court judge Valerie Caproni dismissed Relevent’s case saying that Relevent had not proved that there was an illegal conspiracy between FIFA and US Soccer to restrict where teams play.
But a three-judge appeals panel took a different view stating that Relevent had enough evidence to “plausibly allege” that FIFA’s policy unlawfully restricted competition.
The United States frequently hosts “friendly” games involving foreign professional teams but not competitive fixtures.
The justices are considering whether to hear U.S. Soccer’s appeal of the lower court’s decision to allow the lawsuit by Relevent to proceed.
A victory for Relevent could open up the US to staging key matches featuring some of Europe’s and South America’s marquee clubs and players.
LaLiga, Serie A and France’s Ligue1 have all said they would stage regular league fixtures in the US market. LaLiga, which has a partnership with Relevent, even scheduled a Barcelona game for Miami before it was moved back to Spain.
U.S. soccer has argued that it had no role as a FIFA member in forming the organisation’s 2018 policy banning foreign clubs from holding competitive games outside the teams’ home countries.
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