Company behind bid to stage La Liga games in US takes football authority to court

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Charlie Stillitano is chairman of Relevent, which organises the International Champions Cup pres-season friendly tournament

The organiser of the annual pre-season International Champions Cup has started a legal case against US football authorities – a move that could bring the prospect of Premier League matches being played in the USA closer.

Relevent Sports tried to arrange a La Liga game between Barcelona and Girona in January but the plan was scrapped in the face of widespread opposition.

It subsequently attempted to host an Ecuadorian league game in the US on 5 May, but that also was blocked by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), even though Relevent said it had secured a stadium for the fixture and had received written approval from both Ecuador’s league and its national association, plus the regional governing body.

In court papers lodged in New York, Relevent argues the USSF is acting in an anti-competitive manner.

It says the USSF allows the annual Mexican Super Cup and the Campeon de Campeones to be played in California.

These matches are organised by a rival match promoter, Soccer United Marketing (SUM). SUM is owned jointly by the Major League Soccer clubs and has exclusive rights to market the USA’s men’s and women’s international teams – its close relationship with the USSF is presently the subject of legal cases.