Connect with us

Leagues: MLS

FIFA At It Again: Blatter Insults American Game


Sepp Blatter doesn’t know when to shut up. The Anglophobic President of FIFA has now extended his war against English speaking peoples across the pond in attacking Major League Soccer. Blatter believes MLS should move to what he refers to as a “traditional calender.”

What exactly is the traditional calender? Is it the calender that favors warmer climates and which several leagues in the Northern quadrant of Europe have abandoned in recent years? As the head of the world game, Mr. Blatter must be keenly aware that more league have recently moved AWAY from the “traditional” calender than towards this “tradition” of world football.

I will state again something I have stated regularly for years now. I believe it to be nearly impossible for either US/Canada based league, MLS or USL to play on the “traditional” calendar. Blatter seems to believe this simply has to do with the availability of stadiums.

But the reality is the climate in the northern extremes of the United States and in all of Canada is too harsh to play in the winter months. The fact that the Montreal Impact were forced to abandon Saputo Stadium in favor of an indoor facility for last month’s CONCACAF Champions League match should be a reminder how difficult scheduling in the winter is for our leagues.

Blatter’s other comments about football in the United States were also silly. Let’s take a look each of his comments and analyze their validity in the big picture.

““American football plays in winter, so they can only play from March to October, which means you are not in the right season,”

What exactly constitutes the right season? Russia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil and Ireland all play on calender’s similar to MLS/USL. Perhaps because those nations, other than Ireland are not predominantly English speaking, Blatter has chosen to ignore their deviance from “traditional” scheduling and playing in the “right” season.

“The best American players are playing here, and this is the basic problem with the MLS.”

What about every other worldwide league whose best players are not playing at home? The J-League doesn’t have best Japanese players and the A-League certainly doesn’t have the best Australian players, and the Argentine League can never keep the best Argentine players at home.

“This league was founded after the 1994 World Cup, but is still struggling to get the position they should have according to the number of football players there are in the United States,”

This is more on MLS as a footballing organization than on the scheduling of matches over the summer. My criticisms of MLS are numerous as any regular to this site knows, but playing from March to November is not one of them. In fact I believe MLS and USL will be destroyed by playing August to May. The leagues will not survive on that calender.

“It has the highest number of young players in any sport,”  “But the league has not found yet its position. It can only find its position if the league has its own stadiums.”

MLS is in the process of working on this. Haven’t you, the ultimate poo-bah of World Football noticed?

Once again FIFA’s dislike of anything English or associated with an English language speaking country have gotten the best of Blatter. You’d believe his comments were uttered by some ignorant Spanish football writer, not the head of FIFA. Clearly, Blatter and his allies within the world football governing body still don’t understand the nuances of football in North America. This is all the more reason why a change is needed at FIFA HQ.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more


  1. Eric

    March 16, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Lars has it right here. Blatter needs to realize that there’s a reason Americans call it soccer, and it’s because the other football dominates this country during the fall/winter when Blatter wants MLS to play half its season. Everyone on here pointing out that MLS would fail is correct, for that reason.

    It’s pretty amazing to see the reactions when Europeans realize that amateur football teams in podunk towns, can consistently outdraw the giants of European soccer at the gate. MLS gates would drop over 25% at least if their games went up against college football on saturdays and pro football on sundays.

  2. fenel

    March 16, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    The K-league of south korea, Super league of China also play from April to november.

  3. brizzle

    March 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Sepp Blatter is an ignorant, corrupt bigot. This is a good rebuttal, but he wouldn’t hear you if you were standing right in front of him, broadcasting the entire message in THX directly into his brain using an extravagant setup of wires, electrodes and some pre-frontal drilling.

  4. Lars

    March 16, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    It has nothing to do with that. The league will die a horrible death. Many of its teams are in major hockey markets which will play their finals in Spring. On top of that the NFL dominates from Late summer to January. That means no TV Contract at all. Then you have Basketball on top of that. You just can’t compete with three of the big four.

  5. LI Matt

    March 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Ireland plays a summer schedule to minimize conflict with the 800-pound gorilla next door.


    Sean Wheelock, the BBC’s man in North America, agrees with Blatter on this. I was a little surprised at that, as he’s in Kansas City, which is also not the most suitable place for February soccer.

  6. MarkVA

    March 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm


  7. hypoxichyrax

    March 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Interestingly, no comments from Sepp about promotion/relegation? Sometimes I wonder if FIFA bosses fully understand how much the open league model is owed for the global success of the sport. Nothing stifles MLS more than the stale franchise model – that’s what’s inhibiting the growth of club soccer.

    I don’t need to see games played on the frozen tundra. The real question is – why can’t somebody figure out how to grow grass indoors???

  8. dj voter

    March 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

    don’t forget J-League, they play from March to december.

  9. Cavan

    March 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Mr. Blatter is such an arrogant man. Why bother to learn why someone else chooses to do things the way they do? It’s much easier to just spout off. Then again, his actions often imply that he thinks he’s above needing to learn the facts.

  10. Arnie

    March 16, 2009 at 9:14 am

    eplnfl and kartik are correct. Weather is prohibitive. And not just in snowy climates. If San Jose were forced to play in the winter, their nicely-filled stadium of today would become the 4,000 diehard fans of tomorrow. Is Blatter just mainly interested in punishing fans?

    On the rare occasion that I watch at EPL game in January, I see fans wrapped up in so much clothing that clapping hands is not even a part of the equation. It doesn’t at all look like a pleasant experience, and I can assure you that while my wife and kids go to the San Jose games with me now, that would not be the case on most of the winter dates this FIFA goofball is suggesting.

  11. eplnfl

    March 16, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Anytime Mr. Blatter would like to visit Chicago in the middle of January I will be more then happy to drive him to the local venues and if he can see the field under the normal 10 inches of snow on the ground I’ll buy him a plane ticket to Tampa. Except that the plane may not get off the ground because of icing since it may well be -5F out. Bring your fur coat Sepp!

    Also, if Sepp knows anything about American sports, which I doubt since he lives in his on world, MLS is best played in the summer against MLB which has management most similar to that of Mr. Blatter, that is give them time and they will run the sport into the ground.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Leagues: MLS

Translate »