Relevent Sports Suing U.S. Soccer For Allegedly Conspiring With FIFA
Relevent Sports is suing the USSF for allegedly conspiring with FIFA and Soccer United Marketing to "block foreign-club matches from being held in the U.S.," according to Rachel Bachman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Relevent with the suit is challenging the "primacy of FIFA as soccer's international governing body," and if the Stephen Ross-owned company is successful, it could "shift the power to create prominent matchups away from FIFA oversight and toward promoters and deep-pocketed club owners around the world." Relevent alleges that the USSF-SUM relationship has "incentivized the federation to thwart Relevent's efforts to stage meaningful international soccer games in the U.S." Relevent has "organized several matches and tournaments between big-name clubs in recent years." However, those matches have been friendlies with "no bearing on league standings or titles." The suit alleges that USSF has "blocked Relevent's attempts to bring in-season matches to the U.S. that count in the standings and conspired with FIFA not to sanction such events." The suit also alleges that USSF, FIFA and FIFA-affiliated governing bodies, leagues and clubs have "agreed to shun players who participate in unsanctioned international games in the U.S. and threatened penalties against FIFA-affiliated leagues or clubs who participate in them" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/10).