FIFA to clear path for LaLiga, PL games in U.S. – ESPN

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FIFA has moved towards ending decades of football tradition by reviewing the rules that block domestic league games being played in other countries.

However, fans are likely to object to their teams’ home matches potentially being moved thousands of miles away.

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The United States and Saudi Arabia are expected to be willing to lure competitive games from top European countries, and FIFA recently agreed to withdraw from an ongoing court case in New York filed by promoter Relevent to challenge the policy.

Spanish league president Javier Tebas said in April that LaLiga was hopeful of playing games overseas.

“I don’t know when, but this time LaLiga will play official games abroad. I think it could be from the 2025-26 season,” Tebas told Expansión.

“An official game in the United States would strengthen our position in the North American market, which is the second [biggest] for LaLiga after Spain.

“Other really competitive leagues are coming, so we can’t always do the same thing. They would jump ahead of us.”

The new FIFA policy will likely be attractive to the growing number of international owners of European clubs, including the wave of U.S. investors in the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1, as well as state-backed teams like Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City, Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain and Saudi-owned Newcastle United.

FIFA is now creating a panel of 10-15 people representing football stakeholders to advise within months on amending the rules on so-called “out-of-territory” games. The rules were last amended in 2014.

Attempts since then to have European league games abroad, including taking Barcelona to Miami in 2019, were blocked as U.S. promoters seek to give fans more than just preseason exhibition games involving the world’s best club teams.

FIFA directed its working group, which is yet to be appointed, to consider fairness and giving “advance notice to fans who may miss the opportunity to attend a home or away match in the home territory.”

Other factors for the FIFA panel include “respect for the recognised structure of international football” and potential disruption to fans, teams and leagues in the country hosting “out-of-territory” games.

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