HomeFootballFIFA to Establish Working Group on Impact of Overseas Domestic Matches

FIFA to Establish Working Group on Impact of Overseas Domestic Matches


La Liga Plans Overseas Games as FIFA Considers Impact

Football’s global governing body, FIFA, is taking steps to examine the potential effects of playing competitive domestic matches overseas. This comes after a legal settlement between FIFA and match promoter Relevant Sports in the United States left the door open for league games to be played in different countries.

Although the Premier League has stated that they currently have no plans to play matches abroad, La Liga is already making preparations for overseas games in the 2025-26 season. This decision follows the cancellation of Barcelona’s league match against Girona in 2019, which was set to take place in Miami. FIFA had previously opposed the idea, fearing that it could divert financial resources away from domestic clubs.

However, during FIFA’s Council meeting in Bangkok, a working group was established to gather more information and issue recommendations regarding the impact of overseas matches. The group will also explore how hosting such games would affect the host countries. Several factors will be considered before any decision is made, including the amount of notice given for scheduling matches, the impact on sporting competition, and the development of football in the host countries. The Council emphasized the importance of ensuring that fans have adequate opportunities to attend matches played outside their territory.

Relevant Sports has been at the forefront of promoting overseas matches in the United States. They launched the International Champions Cup, a pre-season tournament, and attempted to host an Ecuador League game in the United States in 2019. However, FIFA blocked this proposal.

Last summer, Relevant Sports organized the six-team Premier League summer series, which featured Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Brighton, Fulham, and Brentford.

The idea of playing domestic league games abroad has long been a topic of debate in football. Proponents argue that it can help expand the global reach of the sport and generate additional revenue. However, opponents raise concerns about the potential disruption to domestic competitions and the negative impact on fans and local communities.

While La Liga moves forward with its plans for overseas games, FIFA’s working group will play a crucial role in examining the ramifications of such a decision. By considering factors like scheduling, competitiveness, and fan involvement, FIFA aims to make an informed judgment on whether playing domestic matches abroad is a viable and beneficial prospect for football as a whole.

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