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Fifa to Explore Impact of Moving Domestic Matches Abroad

A legal settlement between FIFA and the match promoter Relevant Sports in the USA has, according to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, “left the door ajar” for league games to be played in different countries.

While the Premier League states they have no current plans to pursue this, despite previously proposing the controversial ’39th game’ idea under Richard Scudamore’s leadership, La Liga is already preparing to hold overseas games during the 2025-26 season.

La Liga has revived its plans to play league fixtures overseas after cancelling Barcelona’s match against Girona in 2019, which was scheduled to be held in Miami.

Previously, FIFA opposed the idea, believing it could divert valuable finances away from domestic clubs.

However, the matter was discussed at FIFA’s Council meeting in Bangkok on Wednesday, where it was decided to establish a working group to “gather further information and issue recommendations” and also examine the impact on host countries.

Before making any decisions, FIFA wants to address issues such as the amount of notice required for scheduling matches, the impact on the balance of sporting competition, and the effect on football development in the host countries.

The Council stated that any proposal must consider various factors, including “whether adequate provision has been made for fans of the teams playing a proposed out-of-territory match to attend the match in the host country.”

Relevant Sports, which had promoted the idea of overseas matches in the United States, previously launched the pre-season International Champions Cup. They also attempted to host an Ecuadorian League game in the United States in 2019, but FIFA blocked that effort.

Last summer they promoted the six-team Premier League summer series that featured Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Brighton, Fulham and Brentford.