In an interview with the BBC, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has today revealed that FIFA will never accept the Premier League’s proposal to play a round of games overseas.
The news will come as a damning blow to the Premier League’s hopes of playing matches overseas beginning as early as the 2010/2011 season. In another blow, FIFA says that the intentions of the Premier League to play matches overseas could put England’s 2018 World Cup bid in jeopardy. This means that it’s unlikely that the Football Association (FA) will risk championing the Premier League’s Game 39 proposal.
The Premier League now finds itself in a corner. It can either bury the idea, try to appeal via the Football Association (very doubtful) or decide to form a breakaway league that would risk being banned by FIFA and other football associations around the world.
Very few, if any, countries would support playing these matches overseas without FIFA’s approval. The United States Soccer Federation has already stated that it would need FIFA to sanction the proposal before it would consider allowing matches to be played stateside.
Given the power that FIFA holds on the international game around the world, I don’t foresee the Premier League moving forward with the proposal unless it would have the support of other top football clubs around the world to form a breakaway world league.