Supreme Court OKs Relevent antitrust suit over FIFA policy

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a soccer promoter’s antitrust lawsuit to go forward against FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation over the world governing body’s policy of not permitting a country to host league matches involving teams from other countries.

The high court order leaves in a place a federal appeals court ruling in favor of Relevent Sports, controlled by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

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Relevent sued in 2019 after FIFA disrupted its plan to host a LaLiga match between Barcelona and Girona at Miami Gardens, Florida, and the USSF refused permission to sanction a league match between two teams from Ecuador.

A district court dismissed the lawsuit, but a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated it. The Biden administration weighed in on Relevent’s side at the Supreme Court.

Relevent and FIFA reached an agreement this month to drop FIFA from the suit, a deal that the USSF wants to review and that has not yet been approved by U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

FIFA, the USSF and Relevent lawyer Jeffrey L. Kessler did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.