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FIFA Partnership With Relevant Sports Opens Way for League Matches in Other Countries

Chelsea vs Liverpool (Via PremierLeague/Twitter)

Relevent Sports has reached a settlement with FIFA concerning its antitrust lawsuit regarding the hosting of league matches outside their home territory.

This agreement enables FIFA and Relevent to collaborate in bringing league matches from Europe and other regions to the United States.

The settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, stipulates the dismissal without prejudice of all claims made by Relevent against FIFA, with each party responsible for its legal fees and expenses.

However, the settlement does not affect Relevent’s claims against the United States Soccer Federation, Inc. (USSF).

Regarding the settlement, Relevent CEO Danny Sillman remarked,

“FIFA and Relevent Sports have agreed to resolve this matter specific to FIFA while FIFA considers changes to its existing rules about whether games can be played outside of a league’s home territory.”

FIFA – Relevant Sports

He expressed Relevent Sports’ readiness to support FIFA as they collaborate to enhance the growth of the game.

In response, FIFA stated, “FIFA and Relevent have agreed to resolve this matter.”

FIFA clarified that the settlement is contingent upon FIFA’s review of potential amendments to its current policies regarding the hosting of official season games outside a league’s home territory.

FIFA emphasized that it does not admit any liability and continues to refute the legal claims asserted by Relevent.

The lawsuit, initiated in 2019, stemmed from Relevent’s attempt to host a league match between Barcelona and Girona at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, as part of its commercial rights deal with Spain’s LaLiga.

Arsenal vs Tottenham (Via PremierLeague/Twitter)

Despite Relevent’s efforts, their request was denied by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Subsequently, Relevent’s endeavor to host an Ecuadorian league match faced refusal from the USSF.

The lawsuit was initially dismissed in July 2021, with the court ruling that the USSF’s adherence to FIFA policy did not constitute an unlawful agreement to restrict competition.

However, an appeals court overturned this ruling in May 2023, concluding that Relevent plausibly alleged a contractual commitment among competitors to limit competition.

As the case progressed to the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General filed a brief supporting the appellate court’s decision, asserting that the USSF’s enforcement of FIFA’s policy did not amount to an independent action but rather compliance with a binding association policy.

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