KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: FIFA’s long-time claim to wield full authority over worldwide football competition has been vindicated in a United States court.
An anti-trust action brought against the world football federation by the Relevent Sports agency alleged that FIFA had no right to prevent the holding of official league championship matches outside their home countries.
The lawsuit, arising after a vain proposal to play a Spanish league match in the US, was dismissed. A similar earlier idea developed by the English Premier League had been nicknamed the ’39th game’.
Relevent had accused FIFA and the United States Soccer Federation of illegally preventing foreign clubs and leagues from organising competitive matches across the Atlantic.
Manhattan District Judge Valerie Caproni said Relevent had failed to demonstrate an illegal conspiracy to restrict where teams play.
Relevent organises the annual International Champions Cup, a friendly match tournament between major European clubs.
A separate, unconnected challenge to the dominant power of international federations is being considered by the European Court of Justice in connection with the controversial breakaway Super League project.
In this case the organising body under pressure is European federation UEFA.