News: USSF Sued Under Antitrust Law

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by skim172, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. skim172

    skim172 Member+

    Feb 20, 2013
    So, you might remember a few months back a sports promoter called Relevent Sports suing the USSF for blocking a match between Ecuadorian clubs on US soil?

    Looks like they decided to escalate things a bit.

    o_O
     
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  2. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's a FIFA thing all over the world. Not sure if it's legal in the US but they can't have every federation having different laws on the subject. I'd guess since it's a voluntary thing to be in FIFA events if you don't like it start your own federation and make it worth while for players to drop FIFA and join you. Like how the AFL and other sports leagues started in the US. Most didn't make it but some were good enough to force a merger with the older established league. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it can't be done. The only realistic way would be for the big Euro clubs to spin off but then the players wouldn't be allowed to pay for their countries national teams.
     
  3. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    I'm not a lawyer but if what's at issue here is that FIFA doesn't allow leagues to play official games outside of their own countries then I just don't see how it can be an anti-trust issue. Indeed, I can't see a clear way to categorize this falls under the the anti-trust law.

    Now, if the primary issue is the SUM and USSF relationship then that is much murkier waters.
     
  4. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    Our Fed sure does get sued a lot
     
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  5. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The anti-trust issue is that FIFA confers on the USSF the highest authority over professional soccer in the USA. Anyone from outside the US must have approval from (be sanctioned by) the USSF in order to play a game in the US. Note that there may well be exceptions. I believe the plaintiffs are claiming that there should be no such authority and they would prefer a free-for-all, aka an open market. It is basically the same position being taken by Rocco Commisso, owner of the NY Cosmos, who wants his team and the others in the current NASL to have control over its own status (i.e., the division level at which it plays) and refuses to accept the USSF authority over such matters in the USA.
     
  6. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What's your point.
     
  7. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    That our federation is named in lawsuits frequently?
     
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  8. UncagedGorilla

    Sep 22, 2009
    Tulsa
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    I don't think the lawsuit has much merit but I hope it gets to the point of discovery because I feel like there's some gold just waiting to be uncovered. Of course, the corrupt are often good at hiding their darkest secrets.
     
  9. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

    Mar 4, 2010
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Red Stars
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is America! We love to sue each other.



    That is a good thing, it means we mostly trust out judicial system.
     
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  10. TOAzer

    TOAzer Member+

    The Man With No Club
    May 29, 2016
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Or it could mean that a lot of us think our guy is better at rigging the result than their guy.............;)
     
  11. 21st Century Pele

    Apr 16, 2014
    You need to look up what a trust is.
     
  12. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    I did before posting. Did you? Are MLS and the Ecuadorian Serie A colluding to geographical market allocation? No. This is a directive from FIFA which still allows for plenty of other possibilities. Ecuadorian teams can play tournaments or friendlies in the US. They just can't play official Ecuadorian league games. There are plenty of practical reasons for this that goes beyond profit or colluding.
     
  13. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's interesting that every lawsuit against USSF seems to be filed by the same lawyer, isn't it?
     
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  14. 21st Century Pele

    Apr 16, 2014
    It typically works that way. At least until that lawyer starts raking in settlements. Then all the others jump in once they smell the blood in the water.
     
  15. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    I find that more amusing than sad. Like how my dog thinks that THIS time she’ll be able to get that squirrel if she just tugs on the leash hard enough
     
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  16. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    There are games involving teams from other Federations, in the USA, that are competitive. The Campeones Cup and Leagues Cup (or whatever it is called). These games are competitive games played outside Mexico by Mexican teams. What Relevant points out, is USSF has no problem with these because they are marketed by SUM. They only follow the FIFA guidance on non-SUM games.
     
  17. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Those games aren't CONCACAF games.....they are glorified friendlies that Liga MX and MLS created. They are equivalent to the ICC. You know this.
     
  18. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Actually, I think CONCACAF games would not be a problem. Just like UEFA teams play in other countries during Europa and CL.

    You can think of the games as "glorified friendlies", but were they marketed that way? I would think they were marketed as something more than ICC certainly.

    “We are excited to take our partnership with Liga MX to the next level with Leagues Cup,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We have an intense rivalry between our national teams, and Leagues Cup provides a terrific opportunity to increase the growing rivalry between MLS and Liga MX clubs.”

    Doesn't sound like one off Friendlies.
     
  19. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's NOT a Concacaf event though......and just because Liga MX and MLS promote the event as a rivalry doesn't make it any different than the ICC, which:





    and also bills itself as:

    "It’s the International Champions Cup, the summer’s biggest club competition, and its mix of megastar glamour and debutante mystery is as compelling a proposition as the game has to offer. The International Champions Cup, now in its seventh edition, is a crucial component of the soccer calendar for both the game’s luminaries and its next generation of stars. "
     
  20. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Possibly. But there is a distinction that can be drawn. The judge in the case could be a guy that has never watched a soccer game.

    Beyond that, there are plenty of FIFA rules that USSF ignores. It is hard to rely on something that you are selectively enforcing.

    It is generally the same issue in all the suits. It is the fundamental conflict of interest with MLS controlling USSF and both being partners in SUM. This is the gaping hole that allows every one of these suits to be brought.
     
  21. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What rules would these be?

    It should be noted that all previous lawsuits have not been won either. So....if there is this hugely clear and obvious conflict of interest, how come it has yet to be proven in a court of law? How exactly does MLS control the USSF?
     
  22. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Check out the last election. There are plenty of lawsuits that are nowhere being resolved. Cordeiro himself said it was a conflict.

    USSF doesn't comply with TC/S and Pro/Rel; just off the top of my head. Those are bylaws whereas the playing outside domestic games is just a directive or something less than a bylaw I believe.
     
  23. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They don't? You haven't been keeping up have you?
    https://www.espn.com/soccer/major-l...compensation-solidarity-payments-mean-for-mls

    Pro/Rel isn't a bylaw either. If that's the case why isn't it enforced in Australia either? Why hasn't FIFA cracked down on the FMF where teams can buy there place into Liga MX?

    You can't be serious, can you?
    "
    WHO VOTES?

    The Athlete Council, made up of 20 current and former national team players, has 20 percent of the overall vote. The Professional Council (25.8 percent) and the state associations that make up the Adult Council (25.8 percent) and the Youth Council (25.8 percent) also have a big influence. The remaining votes—around 2.6 percent—will be taken by national associations and affiliates, federation board members, life members (up to 12 votes) and two fan representatives."

    https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/02/08/us-soccer-president-election-orlando-votes-candidates

    https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-...ercent-of-us-soccer-presidential-vote-sources

    MLS had 9 of the 16 votes on the Professional Council. 86% of the votes are from people not associated with MLS, yet MLS controls the USSF.........

    Not to mention if MLS controlled the USSF Presidential election don't you think Kathy Carter would have won???

    Nearly all of the lawsuits have been filed by the same lawyer, and in the past when he brought lawsuits claiming the same thing he lost. Why does anyone believe this go round will be any different?

    Sometimes I wonder who is worse: 9/11 Truthers, USSF/MLS Conspiracy Theorists, or USMNT only fans.
     
  24. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    MLS/USSF shills are the worst.

    USSF hasn't "won" any of the lawsuits either.

    Carter came in second. Nobody wanted her, and she came in second. Cordeiro only won after Garber gave the go ahead for his block to change its vote when he realized he couldn't get to 50.1%. While he doesn't control 50%+, he effectively controlled 40% and has a seat on the USSF board. The MLS owners own SUM and everything USSF does to fund itself is done through SUM. If you hold the purse strings...

    If you want to pretend there is no conflict of interest, apparent or real, then go ahead. Cordeiro himself has said it is apparent if not real.

    If you want to pretend that all these lawsuits don't stem from that conflict of interest, then go ahead. What is it to me?

    Training Compensation and Solidarity are FIFA statutes that the USSF has ignored since they were adopted and still have not set up any system to allow clubs to collect it (MLS does it on their own).

    I notice you didn't go near TC/S in your propaganda post. If USSF can ignore a FIFA statute, it is hard for them to stand on memorandum.
     
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  25. SamsArmySam

    SamsArmySam Member+

    Apr 13, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    Setting aside the legal analysis of the case, I'm honestly not sure how I want this lawsuit to go as a fan...

    On the one hand, the USSF-MLS-SUM relationship creates conflicts and headaches for the USMNT. Would be nice to see USMNT with a little more power in the relationship.

    On the other hand, those sanctioning fees add cash that US Soccer could invest in our national teams -- assuming they ever get their sh!t together.
     

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