Soccer

Fans must be considered if domestic league matches moved overseas, says FIFA

FIFA has set up a working group to consider changes to the rules.

The prospect of domestic league games being played overseas moved a step closer after FIFA approved the formation of a working group to consider changes to the rules
The prospect of domestic league games being played overseas moved a step closer after FIFA approved the formation of a working group to consider changes to the rules (Mike Egerton/PA)

Adequate provisions must be made for fans to attend if domestic league matches are moved overseas in the future, FIFA has said.

The formation of a working group to “consider a revised legal framework” governing the authorisation of matches played overseas was approved by the FIFA Council at a meeting in Bangkok on Wednesday.

The Council requested any criteria proposed by the group take various factors into account, 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”.

The impact on sporting competition, where teams would otherwise have played each other in a conventional home-and-away format, is another factor the group should consider, FIFA said.

The establishment of the working group marks another step towards matches being played overseas.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said last month his competition had no plans to move matches overseas but accepted FIFA moves to review the rules meant the “door was ajar” for other leagues to do so.

FIFA first said it was considering changing its authorisation rules on such matches in a statement following a settlement it agreed with Relevent Sports in a court case in the United States last month.

Relevent has been seeking to host competitive league games in the US, including LaLiga matches.

On the back of the settlement, LaLiga president Javier Tebas said he now hoped to be able to take matches to the US for the 2025-26 season.