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FIFA Considering Ban on Domestic Fixtures Being Played Overseas

On February 27th, soccer’s worldwide governing body FIFA held a meeting to discuss the potential of banning domestic league fixtures from taking place in other countries.

For example, if Liverpool wished to play Manchester United in a league fixture in the United States of America as opposed to Anfield.

According to ESPN, Article 73 of the FIFA Statutes is what is being revisited. Article 73 states that domestic matches played outside of the league or club’s own country can only take place under ‘exceptional circumstances’ and under authorisation from ‘member associations, the respective confederation[s] and by FIFA’.

We have seen this happen sporadically in the past, especially in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions. It’s usually a result of fans overstepping their boundaries and believing they’re bigger than the game itself.

This actually happened again very recently during Bayern Munich’s 6-0 away win at Hoffenheim on Saturday. In the second half, a group of travelling Bayern fans held up expletive signs directed at Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp.

Bayern players and coach Hansi Flick ran across the pitch and pleaded for the signs to be taken down. The fans weren’t exactly keen to accommodate their requests.

The game was temporarily stopped in the 77th minute before players eventually returned to the field. In their own protest against the actions of those fans, both sides refused to play for the remaining 13 minutes, instead kicking the ball amongst one another and conversing in the middle of the pitch.

After the final whistle, all players and coaching staff from both teams stood at Hopp’s side in front of the Hoffenheim fans and everyone applauded the German billionaire.

These kinds of incidents aren’t seen every day in the soccer world and we can be thankful for that. But when these incidents do happen, consequences are laid out for both fans and club alike.

Often, future fixtures are played in empty stadiums. A recent example of this was after the farcical scenes that took place in Bulgaria during their national team’s 6-0 loss to the English.

Bulgaria’s next home match against the Czech Republic was played in an empty stadium as punishment, as well as a measly 75,000 euro fine.

The full story on this can be found here:

https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-soccer-racism-fined–empty-stadium/30242707.html

However, domestic games being played outside of the home country are rare if ever.

FIFA has decided to look into this following two attempts from Spanish top flight La Liga to host domestic league fixtures in the United States of America.

La Liga is partnered with Relevant Sports, a soccer events and media business based out of California. In an attempt to promote the game on the Western front, they have requested to have games played there in recent times.

Both attempts didn’t come to fruition and now FIFA is stepping in to ensure that there is no ‘third time lucky’.

From a business perspective, it makes sense as the game would attract a lot more attention, being a fixture played for league points. The best players would be there, giving their all. The stadium would be completely filled out and it would more than likely be a successful venture.

Imagine if it was an ‘El Clasico’ between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Except instead of taking place at the Nou Camp or the Santiago Bernabeu, it was played at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Soccer fans across the Americas would flock to see the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema play for league points.

The FIFA committee has recommended that this ban be implemented and now it may just be a matter of time before it’s a reality.

However, whether it’s on or off the field, soccer is a funny game and anything can happen. The decision is expected to be finalised on the 20th of March.

What are your thoughts on the potential ban of domestic fixtures being played overseas? Let us know on social media @Soccersceneau

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more content just like this.

 

 

 

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Optus Sport to stream Football Victoria’s Nike F.C. Cup Final

Nike F.C. Cup

Football Victoria have made the exciting announcement that Optus Sport will yet again stream the Nike F.C. Cup Final in 2022.

Optus Sport have been the home of the English Premier League in Australia since 2016, and are also home to LaLiga, the Women’s Super League, K-League, J-League and the EURO’s.

The Cup Final will be held on Sunday afternoon, when South Melbourne takes on Calder United at Valley Park Events Centre, Broadmeadows.

Football Victoria CEO Kimon Taliadoros applauded Optus Sport’s commitment and acknowledged their continued support of the local game in a statement released by Football Victoria.

“The appetite for women’s football is growing exponentially and we thank Optus Sport for their elevation of the Nike F.C. Cup again in 2022,” he said in a statement.

“We are thrilled that subscribers across the nation can experience the quality football that the two teams will deliver on Sunday.”

Match coverage starts at 3.30pm AEDT, with the final kicking off at 4pm this Sunday.

Coverage will also be provided for non-subscribers on NPL.TV and Football Victoria’s Facebook and YouTube.

Customers can watch Optus Sport on their favourite screens and devices via Fetch, Apple TV, Android TV compatible Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Apple Airplay, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, compatible Samsung Smart TVs or desktop, or on-the-go via tablet, mobile, or laptop.

FC Bayern and Adobe partner to power the club’s digital transformation

Bayern and Adobe

FC Bayern, one of the world’s most historic and successful football clubs, have announced a multi-year partnership with Adobe to power the club’s digital transformation.

The agreement will bring new, personalised experiences to its millions of current and future global fans – both on and offline – while driving greater efficiency and more sustainable business practices through Adobe’s enterprise solutions.

With a rapidly growing global fanbase, FC Bayern is passionate about connecting fans to their favourite club in new ways. Adobe’s technology will provide FC Bayern the ability to better understand its fans to create more engaging and individualised sports experiences.

Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe’s customer data platform, will help FC Bayern create fan profiles to better understand how supporters engage with the brand and ensure they enjoy a more personal relationship with their favourite teams. This means the overall matchday experience will be enhanced for fans, giving supporters real-time notifications at their fingertips including merchandising discounts, video content and last-minute ticket availability.

With more digital experiences across platforms, channels and devices, FC Bayern fans will never miss a moment whether they are at the Arena, on the go or in the comfort of their home. For example, when a goal is scored fans will receive content on their preferred channel to celebrate the moment in real time, as well as post-match video commentary and highlights.

FC Bayern will also use Adobe Document Cloud, including Adobe Acrobat Sign, to digitise collaboration with fans, employees and partners. With Document Cloud, activities like signing up for memberships or executing player agreements will be quick and secure, while reducing environmental impact.

“Today’s FC Bayern fan is digitally savvy and craves new ways to get closer to our club and players, which is why we aim to create sustainable and lasting interactions that bring matchday excitement to our millions of passionate fans across the world,” FC Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn in a statement.

“We’re investing in a long-term digital strategy with Adobe’s breadth of enterprise applications at the core of our technology, to deepen how our fans engage with the club and to inspire the next generation of fans for years to come.

“FC Bayern has millions of fans around the world, and they are at the forefront of revolutionising fan experiences,” said Anil Chakravarthy, president of Digital Experience Business at Adobe. “With this partnership, FC Bayern will create more personalised experiences to enable fans to celebrate the passion and heart of the club wherever they may be.”

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