He’s not exactly a font of accurate predictions, but FIFA head honcho Sepp Blatter has a made a claim that, if true, would drastically alter the future of Major League Soccer.
Blatter claims that Major League Soccer will be moving towards a European calendar.
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The topic itself is not new, but Blatter’s comments are, and Duane Rollins of Canadian Soccer News posted audio from the FIFA man’s Monday press conference ahead of the U-20 Women’s World Cup.
And inside of that audio comes the remarks from Blatter, which comes in stark contrast to the “not in the short-term” comments of MLS commissioner Don Garber when asked about the shift to a ‘winter schedule’ in his State of the League address this December.
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But here’s the gist:
“(MLS) has taken the decision — I don’t know when they will start — to adopt the FIFA calendar.” = Blatter’s exact words today in Toronto.
— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) August 4, 2014
The question for me has not been about the fields and North American weather, rather whether MLS is anywhere near ready to compete full-time with college football and basketball, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL (let alone other European leagues). Right now, the summer is basically MLS vs. MLB. It’s an exclusivity window the league would sacrifice in order to align with Europe.
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Perhaps a split season could work, closer to Liga MX or some of the Scandinavian countries, but is MLS — and more importantly, its clubs’ attendance — possibly ready for the competition?
UPDATE: MLS vice president Dan Courtemanche says Blatter doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
. @JeremiahOshan Although MLS has reviewed a potential move to a FIFA calendar in the past, the league plans to stay with its current format
— Dan Courtemanche (@courtemancheMLS) August 5, 2014