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SBD/January 3, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
MLS Commissioner Garber Responds To Blatter's Criticism, Says League Isn't Struggling
Published January 3, 2013
STANDING UP FOR ITSELF: Garber said he did not think Blatter's comments "hurt" the league, but noted it is "important to stand up and say that Major League Soccer -- while we have a lot of work to do -- is now thriving and making an impact." Garber downplayed whether Blatter's comments "would hurt MLS with potential multinational sponsors." He said, "The sports industry has enormous respect for us. Our corporate sponsorship base continues to grow. Our relationships with municipal governments providing support for soccer stadium development is at an all-time high. Investment in our league is at an all-time high and in some ways the envy of soccer leagues around the world." SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote it was "clear that Garber was trying to stay positive about MLS without opening verbal fire on Blatter." But he "didn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement of the FIFA president." Meanwhile, Garber yesterday "canceled his plans to attend the FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich next week -- he has been a regular at the event in previous years -- and will instead be on hand next Monday at Soccer Night in Newtown" (SI.com, 1/2).