By Tony Attwood
The latest development began when Barcelona, desperate for money, arranged for the La Liga game between Barcelona and Girona FC to be played in Miami. Girona is 47% owned by City Group, which owns Manchester City, which adds an interesting twist.
Fifa at once said “no” in that imperious way that it has, reiterating its self-assumed right to be a monopoly controller of football events, able to impose its will on countries and clubs around the world.
The Uefa monopoly has of course also been challenged in the European courts and we still await the final ruling on that although the preliminary findings sided with Uefa.
The English media, as you will know if you have been paying attention, think these monopolies, including the next level down, the monopoly of the FA, are jolly good things, even though throughout the decades the monopolistic entities running the shows have been shown to be corrupt and inept at every turn. So, much of the media ignore this new development although the Telegraph reports it, but without seeing any link to the issue of Uefa’s insistence that it can stop Super League.
But now along has come the American courts with their anti-trust (ie anti-monopoly) laws. And although the English media are not much engaged in what the rest of the world is reading about it there is a growing awareness that this case could matter.
So the initial attempt to get a court case running against Fifa vis a vis its monopolistic operations is running in the USA because they are much more against monopolies than other countries, and Fifa have been falling over backwards to get the case stopped.
But now, ESPN tells us that “A promoter’s lawsuit against Fifa and the U.S. Soccer Federation can proceed toward trial after a lower-court judge had thrown it out, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.”
The USSF explained itself by citing the 2018 Fifa policy ruling that “emphasized the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association.”
The Lower Court, perhaps not knowing what sort of megalomaniac organisation Fifa actually is, came up with one of the most bonkers court rulings you’ll hear in a long while arguing that the plaintiff need to produce evidence to prove that Fifa had agreed to adopt the policy!
The court of appeal disagreed stating the utterly obvious point that the Fifa 2018 policy was quite clearly intended to restrict competition – something Fifa constantly does in order to hype up its own competitions. Thus the policy itself clearly violates America’s anti-competition laws.
Fifa then argued that they were above the law and thus not subject to the laws of the USA. The court said “rubbish” to that, stating that the USSF is Fifa’s agent and is subject to USA law.
If if the case is lost by Fifa, that will be a huge nail in the coffin of Fifa’s and Uefa’s plan to ban Super-League. The European court might still ban the concept, but the danger then is the clubs will move the competition to America. Uefa could fight on but it is more than likely the clubs would revolt.
Of course Fifa have had plenty of time to get things sorted out since way back in 2020, the Justice Department of the United States, warned Fifa that its rules on determining where games were played were against US law. Fifa ignored that because it believed and still believes itself to be above all law.
The fact that none of the potential impact is being discussed in the UK media is telling, for they seemingly have been told by Fifa that any attempt to discuss attempts to overthrow Fifa laws could result in the removal of various privileges – like free tickets to world cup matches.
So once again, not much recognition in England, but the desperate rear-guard action against Super League is a clear sign of the desperation within the English hierarchy. They know control is slipping out of their hands….
- Football is blindly walking into its biggest ever crisis. Part 1
- Why this season is not a one-off for Arsenal, but probably a sign of things to come
- Why, when a player assaults a referee, the ultimate guilty party is the media
- Arsenal and Tottenham both built stadia, and each suffered the consequence. But…
- Being a visionary is not as easy as it looks
3 Replies to “Corruption news: Fifa to face trial on grounds of holding an unreasonable monopoly”
This reminds me of a kind of similar case.
In France, sousth of Lake Geneva, close to the swiss border, a club got promoted to Ligue 1. I think at the time it was called – and still may be – ‘Evian Thonon Gaillard’, 3 neighbouring cities of the area. They do not have any stadium up to Ligue 1 standards and asked to be allowed to play their games in Neighbouring Switzerland, at the Geneva stadium. This would have enabled them better match day income, etc etc.
Ruling was against them and they were not allowed to do it.
I did not hear about them going to court to fight it, which makes sense as they are a Ligue 1 club and probably would have had quite some trouble with the FFF, UEFA and FIFA.
But a promoter based in the US does not have these worries. So the outcome of this is going to be interesting.
And if the english media start criticising the idea of playing games in another country, they should then ask for NFL games played at Sp*rs stadium to be banned…as this is the exact reverse situation happening with american football.
Well, we have Welsh teams in the English Premier League. Also…The second division of Rugby League had a team based out of Toronto, Canada (I know, not association football, but so bizarre it is worth mentioning)
and lineker is gone