Monday, May 27, 2024

FIFA Considers Overseas Premier League Matches in the United States

FIFA to Consider Allowing Domestic Leagues to Play Matches Overseas

FIFA Considers Allowing Domestic Leagues to Play Matches Overseas

FIFA is exploring the possibility of allowing domestic leagues to play matches overseas, a move that could lead to English Premier League or Spanish La Liga games being staged in lucrative markets like the United States, the Middle East, or Asia.

The world governing body of football has set up a working group comprising 10-15 members to examine the idea and make recommendations. The Premier League and La Liga, both with massive global followings, have long considered the idea of taking their matches outside their home countries.

The newly-formed FIFA committee will gather information and provide recommendations to the Council on potential amendments to the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches (FRGIM). The group will assess various aspects of hosting matches abroad, including the impact on fans, competition balance, frequency of games, and the overall impact on football.

While top European clubs already play lucrative friendlies worldwide, official league matches outside the home territory have been restricted by FIFA rules. However, recent legal challenges in the United States have prompted FIFA to rethink their stance on overseas league fixtures.

The move comes at a time when US broadcasters are eager to capitalize on the popularity of the English Premier League by hosting competitive matches. La Liga has also expressed interest in playing matches in North America as early as 2025.

The discussions on allowing domestic leagues to play matches overseas will be at the forefront during FIFA’s annual congress in Bangkok, where the host country for the upcoming Women’s World Cup will be decided. After the successful 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, FIFA is considering awarding the 2027 edition to Brazil or a joint bid from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The possibility of witnessing iconic matchups like Arsenal vs. Manchester City or Real Madrid vs. Barcelona on foreign soil could soon become a reality, reshaping the landscape of football competitions around the world.

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