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FIFA Rejects 39th Game Proposal

FIFA logoIn 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.

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  1. Vjeko

    September 8, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Keep your league in your country…. we dont want your colonies spreading any further abroad. Have you ever thought it might be called the EPL cause its the ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE. It's bad enough that the only thing English about it is that it's played in England. Teams are owned by foreigners. Players are mainly foreigners.

    Against Modern Football.

  2. DreadOpus

    February 21, 2008 at 10:39 am

    They should play games from the 3rd-5th rounds of the League Cup abroad. It would eliminate the arbitrary advantage the home field gets by playing at a neutral site.

    Destroying the perfect balance of the PL’s schedule was a horrid idea, but the chance to play meaningful games abroad is enticing to those of us who would like to see those games. Not that many managers from the big clubs see League Cup games as much more meaningful than exhibitions until they get to the semis.

    Perhaps the better solution, would be a cup that would pit teams from European leagues against MLS, Mexican and South American competition.

  3. wanderer_abroad

    February 16, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Very much welcome news. Shame Blatter is such a corrupt moron, because he finally spouted out some sense.
    Unfortunately, I’m of the opinion that this ignorance and arrogance from the Premier League has damaged Englands chances of getting the 2018 World Cup. The recent statement by Jack Warner, president of CONCACAF, although another complete corrupt fool, was right in the sense that England is not very well liked abroad, especially in continental Europe. This bad publicity will have only made the English look even more arrogant and imperialistic, than they are already perceived to be. Lets hope there aren’t any more cock ups from the Premiership or FA to really doom Englands bid.

  4. Patrick

    February 15, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Myself and the Red Ranter have had quite an exchange over this at my website. It has been quite interesting to follow, this 39th game debacle. For whatever you think of it, it could not have been handled much worse.

    However, I am of the opinion that an international league is an inevitability. None of the current leagues are well designed to fill the void, but there is a void to be filled.

  5. Lulu

    February 15, 2008 at 10:47 am

    BillE, I’m no Sepp Blatter fan, but in this case I think his statement was meaningful to a great majority of football fans.

  6. BillE Shears

    February 14, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    UEFA and FIFA have all of the negative qualities of the UN and none of the positive.

    Has Sepp Blatter ever said or done anything that has been in any way meaningful? What exactly does he get paid for besides showing up in random countries and telling the crowds exactly what they want to hear.

    If they promised him a women’s match beforehand with them wearing hot pants and garter belts he would be all for it.

  7. Kartik

    February 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm


    Now if the PL goes ahead they need to be tossed out of FIFA allowing the 20 members clubs to fend for themselves or to re-join the Football League.

    If MLS cooperates and allows the PL to play on american soil and splits the profits, the MLS needs to be shut down by FIFA. The single entity structure of MLS means the clubs are in fact all technically owned by the league and thus FIFA can safely end MLS or force them to abandon their sinister plan.

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