International Soccer Promoter Sues US Soccer Federation For Failing To Follow Rules
Relevent Sports, LLC, an international soccer promoter owned in principal part by Miami Dolphins owner and successful real estate developer Stephen Ross, has filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation and its Secretary General Dan Flynn. The lawsuit was filed on April 22 in state court within New York.
Relevent Sports, which has successfully promoted more than 100 soccer events in the U.S., including the International Champions Cup, is complaining that the U.S. Socer Federation (USSF) has violated its own policies and procedures by dissuading the staging of international competitions in the U.S. — the lifeblood for Relevent Sports. By way of example, Relevent Sports says that when the Copa Libertadores could not take place in Argentina, Relevent Sports offered to stage the final in Miami, Florida, but the USSF refused to engage, causing the final to be moved to Madrid, Spain.
“The only possible explanation for this blatant disregard of its own charter is that USSF is economically conflicted and is abusing its authority, in order to protect Major League Soccer (“MLS“), a for-profit entity with which USSF has extremely close financial and personal ties,” states the Complaint. The Complaint goes into further depth as to how the USSF and MLS operations are closely intertwined.
Relevent Sports also points out that it wants. to host an official match between two professional Ecuadorian soccer teams on May 5, 2019. However, USSF has refused to sanction the match, even though it has failed to issue any formal denial.
The main purpose of the litigation is to force the USSF to sanction that May 5, 2019 match, as well as any future applications submitted by Relevent Sports that comply with the USSF’s rules. It is relying on Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules as a basis for its requested relief.
The court will be tasked with finding whether a determination was made in violation of lawful procedure, was affected by an error of law or was arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion, including abuse of discretion as to the measure or mode of penalty or discipline imposed.
No response has been filed by the defendants by the time of publication.