NEW YORK (AP) A promoter has sued the U.S. Soccer Federation, asking a court to order the governing body to sanction an Ecuador league match in Florida.
Relevent Sports filed suit Monday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging the USSF illegally refused to approve its application to have Ecuador’s Barcelona and Guayaquil clubs play on May 5 at Miami Gardens.
The lawsuit quotes USSF policy as stating the governing body’s secretary general “shall grant such sanction unless it is decided by clear and convincing evidence that holding or sponsoring the international soccer competition would be detrimental to the best interest of the sport.”
The USSF did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Relevent attempted to stage the first Spanish La Liga match in the U.S., between Barcelona and Girona at Miami Gardens on Jan. 26. That effort fell through following opposition from the governing body of Spanish soccer, the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol, and the players’ union, the Asociacion de Futbolistas Espanoles.
That announcement from La Liga and Relevant Sports regarding league games coming to the United States?
Despite every reason to trust the league as a major authority on the matter, that’s a bit premature.
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Yahoo Sports’ Doug McIntyre says that the Spanish players union has yet to agree to such a move, and that it’s unclear whether La Liga’s clubs are all on board.
In fact, there’s a laundry list of parties — including MLS commissioner Don Garber and the United States Soccer Federation — who could get in the way of it. From Yahoo:
And even if FIFA did greenlight the plan, others could still stop it. CONCACAF, which oversees the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean, has the jurisdiction to say no. CONCACAF has in the past balked at the idea of teams from the English Premier League and Mexico’s Liga MX playing meaningful games on U.S. soil. Both of those circuits have since essentially abandoned the idea. UEFA, Europe’s governing body, would also have to approve any deal that involved teams from Spain or any other European country.
Money sure talks, and certainly CONCACAF, MLS, and the USSF might be moved by it, but the more you read into it, the longer the odds.