A U.S. District Court judge has ruled in favor of the USSF, dismissing the anti-trust portion of a lawsuit filed by soccer promoter Relevent Sports Group over the holding of official league matches from foreign leagues here.
U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, Valerie Caproni, also ruled that Relevent could take its claims of tortious interference with business relationships to an arbitrator.
Relevent has staged friendly matches involving foreign clubs in the past, and is the organizer of the International Champions Cup, a preseason tournament involving clubs from around the world.
Relevent has tried to expand its business by seeking to host league matches from Spain’s La Liga as well as Ecuador’s Liga Pro in the United States. But such an event requires the approval of the national association of the teams involved, the national association of the host country, the confederations of the participating and host countries, as well as FIFA.
Relevent issued the following statement:
“If this decision is permitted to stand, it will undermine the ability of the antitrust laws to protect US consumers against agreements to divide up world markets and restrict competition and choices in the United States. Our leagues have played abroad for decades creating generations of new international fans, and US fans deserve the same opportunity to watch the best players here.”