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US Soccer Fends Off Antitrust Suit Which Alleged It Conspires With FIFA

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 22 – U.S. Soccer Federation was sued for anti-competitive collusion with FIFA to block Relevant Sports LLC from sponsoring games including of La Liga players in the US.

   On June 17 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. Among the questions was whether FIFA constitutes an indispensable party under Rule 19(b).

  Judge Caproni asked about remedies; she said, The competition that is being thwarted is the competition that would otherwise be provided to US soccer teams by foreign teams being permitted to play in the US - there is a separate market for friendlies. 

  Judge Caproni asked plaintiffs' lawyer: Your Ecuadorian match, you could have gone forward, no? 

  The lawyer answered, They said, only if you get USSF sanction. FIFA does not sanction in US, it authorizes USSF as co-conspirator to sanction.

Now in July Judge Caproni has ruled: "  OPINION AND ORDER: re: [32] MOTION to Compel Arbitration or in the alternative to Dismiss the Complaint filed by United States Soccer Federation, Inc. For the foregoing reasons, Defendant's motion to compel arbitration is GRANTED as to Plaintiff's tort claim; litigation regarding Count II is stayed in the meantime. The parties must provide joint quarterly updates on the status of the arbitration proceeding. The first such update is due by November 1, 2020; thereafter, reports are due every three (3) months on the first business day of the applicable month. Defendant's motion to compel arbitration is DENIED asto Plaintiff's antitrust claim. Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's antitrust claim is GRANTED. Plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff may file a motion for leave to amend Count One of its complaint by September 1, 2020. If Plaintiff chooses to move for leave to amend, Plaintiff must include a redlined version of its proposed amended complaint. If Plaintiff chooses to pursue its claim for injunctive relief, its proposed amended complaint must allege facts sufficient to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction over FIFA. Alternatively, Plaintiff may choose to join FIFA to this action. If Plaintiff chooses not to move to amend, it must show cause by September 1, 2020, why this entire case should not be dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The clerk of court is respectfully directed to close the open motion at docket entry 32. SO ORDERED., ( Motions due by 9/1/2020.) (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 7/20/2020)."

The case is Relevent Sports, LLC v. United States Soccer Federation, Inc., 19-cv-8359 (Caproni). 


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