US Soccer’s previous request to see the settlement details between FIFA and Relevent has been denied. The settlement removed FIFAt in the case in which Relevent is suing FIFA and US Soccer. Relevent, the media and promotion company based in the United States, sought legal action against the two governing bodies. Relevent’s goal is to host competitive soccer games from foreign leagues in the United States. That stems from a proposed match between Girona and Barcelona in January 2019. FIFA and US Soccer shot down that possibility.

The ensuing legal action from Relevent targets the FIFA rule against competitive matches in other countries. Relevent argued that preventing this contest was a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. FIFA and Relevent eventually settled, and the world governing body went as far as to say it would consider changing the policy it has against competitive games.

Further details regarding that settlement have been kept under wraps while Relevent continues its struggle with US Soccer. What remains certain is that the only defendant in the case is now US Soccer. Originally, the USSF wanted clarification on whether FIFA was still an “indispensable party” in the case. In other words, US Soccer questioned whether FIFA’s participation in the trial was still paramount for it to continue.

Relevent and FIFA denying US Soccer the terms of the settlement is a clear indication that FIFA is no longer an indispensable party. This has several consequences for US Soccer, FIFA, and Relevent. The most concerned of those is US Soccer.

US Soccer is on its own after FIFA and Relevent settlement

US Soccer may have been caught relatively off guard by the settlement between FIFA and Relevent. As some have noted, the wording US Soccer used sounded worried about the future of this litigation. To be fair to US Soccer, though, it is smart to seek out as many facts as possible, especially one regarding a settlement. Furthermore, US Soccer could have used some of the details between FIFA and Relevent.

However, that seems to not be the case. The battle between US Soccer and Relevent now nears the Supreme Court, which will determine if US Soccer went against the Sherman Antitrust Act.

If the Supreme Court rules there was a violation of the antitrust policies, Relevent would effectively have the green light to host other league’s domestic competitions in the United States. The league already has a connection with LaLiga going back to that aforementioned 2019 game between Girona and Barcelona. Additionally, La Liga summer friendlies in the summer of 2023 included Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis and Real Sociedad. Relevent helped organize those games.

The reason US Soccer is defending against this is to protect domestic soccer. Major League Soccer, the USL and other American soccer leagues would have to compete with top European sides in terms of viewership. As seen with the popularity of the schedule of summer friendlies in the United States, Americans want to see the best soccer possible. Competitive games involving European teams from top leagues would be an upgrade over most MLS sides.