Tag Archives: Miami

Miami at the heart of Relevent Sports’ USSF lawsuit over league matches

Relevent Sports filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on Monday. Photographic by Matthew Bunch.

Relevent Sports, LLC, an advertising and marketing firm responsible for bringing high-profile international and club friendlies to North America, has filed suit in New York state court alleging that the U.S. Soccer Federation is improperly prohibiting the organization from bring foreign league matches to the United States.

The lawsuit, which was first reported in the New York Times, is the culmination of months of frustration between Relevent and a number of national federations. Relevent, which is co-owned by Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium owner Stephen Ross, first attempted to bring a La Liga match between Barcelona and Girona back in January. That plan stalled until finally Barcelona withdrew from the LaLiga North America partnership, at least for this season.

The plan was opposed by the U.S. federation, but also the Spanish federation, FIFA and the Spanish players’ union.

It appears that, without fanfare, Relevent tried again, this time attempting to bring two Ecuadorean clubs (Barcelona S.C. and Guayaquil City) to Hard Rock on May 5. This time, the U.S. Federation more directly rejected the proposal.

According to the Relevent complaint, the federation’s refusal to sanction the game is in violation of Federation Bylaw 102, which states the federation’s purpose is, “to promote, govern, coordinate, and administer the growth and development of soccer in all its recognized forms in the United States for all persons of all ages and abilities, including national teams and international games and tournaments.”

USSF response

On Tuesday, the federation responded, claiming that sanctioning of the game would be in violation of FIFA’s guidelines. Therefore, allowing the game to be played would be detrimental to the game and in violation of Bylaw 102.

While the FIFA Council did make its opinion known on the Miami league game matter last year, that opinion has not yet officially been codified in FIFA’s Laws of the Game. The crux of Relevent’s argument is that the Council’s opinion should not be interpreted as official rule.

Copa connection

Interestingly, the court filing in New York Supreme Court (note: the state supreme court in New York is not the highest court, instead generally serving as a civil trial court) confirms reporting from last year that Relevent Sports made efforts to bring the aborted Copa Libertadores final to Miami, and lays the blame for the failure to land the game at the feet of the USSF president (and Miami resident) Carlos Cordiero.

“At the end of 2018, when fan violence prevented the finals of the Copa Libertadores from taking place in Argentina as scheduled, Relevent and Mr. Ross reached out to USSF and its President, Carlos Cordeiro, to offer to stage the final in Miami, Florida. USSF and Cordeiro effectively refused to engage.”

Legal limbo

This is the third Miami-adjacent lawsuit pending for the USSF. The now-defunct North American Soccer League has filed a lawsuit contending that it has violated anti-trust regulations, and a lawsuit spearheaded by local club The Miami FC to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is asking that promotion and relegation be introduced in the American club game.

The Miami FC finally defeats Miami United, open year with 2-0 win

The Miami FC forward Dario Suarez, left, hugs teammate Tomas Granitto after his "Olimpico" goal against Miami United FC on April 20, 2019. Photo via The Miami FC.

The Magic City Clasico entered its fourth act Saturday night on the campus of Barry University. In the previous three contests, Miami United excelled at frustrating The Miami FC. The rough tackles, the willingness to go to ground, and the physicality all carried over from 2018. There was absolutely zero love lost between the two sides. Unfortunately for United, the 2019 version of Miami FC responds to adversity far better.

FXE Futbol, LLC files lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beckham United

FXE Futbol, LLC, the group that challenged Inter Miami CF for the right to redevelop Lockhart Stadium, has sued the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC (the holding organization behind Inter Miami). Image via Broward Clerk of Courts.

What would the Miami MLS saga be without yet another lawsuit? This time, FXE Futbol is getting in on the action.

FXE Futbol, LLC, the group that challenged Inter Miami CF for the right to redevelop Lockhart Stadium, has sued the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC (the holding organization behind Inter Miami). The lawsuit was first reported by the Miami Herald.

While the complaint discusses topics we have seen before, there is one wild twist that is being alleged. Perhaps the battle for Lockhart stadium isn’t quite over.

At first glance the complaint, filed by attorney David J. Winker, requests that the court review the Public-Private Partnership Process with regards to the Lockhart site and the city’s decision to award the project to Inter Miami.

“This is an action challenging the validity and effect of the frantic and, ultimately, statutorily inadequate, Public-Private Partnership Process undertaken pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 255.065 by Defendant CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE”

FXE Futbol is seeking a writ of mandamus and civil action against not only the City of Fort Lauderdale but Miami Beckham United, citing damages of over $15,000. While this has been par for the course, this is the first time a competitor has filed a claim seeking to reverse the decision by a local government.

Asbestos questions

Where the petition really begins to get interesting is on line item 13. According to FXE Futbol, Inter Miami was spreading falsehoods regarding the level of asbestos present at Lockhart in its current state. FXE Futbol has outlined that Inter Miami was advising the city council that there was “a tremendous amount of asbestos present at the stadium” and therefore revitalization or renovation was not actually possible.

The complaint discusses how procedural violations were made by the City of Fort Lauderdale throughout the process, which is much like what we have seen argued and alleged against Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Due to this being the first complaint being filed by a competing interest, FXE Futbol is seeking monetary damages in the amount of “lost profits”.

With March 2020 coming closer with each passing day, Inter Miami cannot afford another lengthy court battle that stalls the process of acquiring permits, clearance, and the demolition of Lockhart stadium. With the timeline already being questioned by the public, if this judgement is granted in favor of the plaintiffs we could see a real snag in Inter Miami’s plans to open in 2020.

 

Author’s Note: Omar Moubayed is not an attorney and does not claim to be an active member of the Florida Bar Association. Any and all information in this news story is neither his legal opinion nor the legal opinion of Magic City Soccer.

March 2019 Magic Six

Soccer is back! March saw the return of the UPSL with the 2019 spring season getting under way from Port St. Lucie to Kendall. These magicians caught the eye in the opening couple of weeks…

Franco Guglielmucci – FW – PSL United SC

Franco writes his own scripts. When Boca and Chad Johnson came to town, Franco turned in a man of the match performance and created the winning goal in PSL’s first UPSL game breaking the hearts of the Rat Pack and Ochocinco.

Jean Paul Garcia – GK – Atletico Miami CF

Having lost their opening two games in the UPSL, Atletico Miami put themselves in the driving seat in their third game against Miami AC with two early goals. Then they gave AC a lifeline – a penalty. Garcia saved low to his right and kept it out. Atletico went on to win 3-2 but they can thank Jean Paul for getting 3 points instead of 1.

Djamslie Milorel aka ‘James’ – FW – Himmarshee FC

Just watch the goal.

Don de Locker – DF – Palm Beach Spartans

Much is made of Spartans fearsome attack, holding things down at the other end of the pitch is Don de Locker. A reliable central defender who is also good with the ball at his feet. Spartans got two wins out of three in March thanks to his leadership at the back.

David Holguin – FW – Red Force FC

The Miami soccer legend, who we have affectionately dubbed Gordinho, inspired Red Force to a win in their first UPSL game with two goals. An absolute joy to watch this man play soccer.

Wikemlove – AMC – Boca Raton FC

Boca were 2-1 down at the half against the Spartans and made changes. One of them was bringing on tricky attacking midfielder Wikemlove. A goal and an assist later Boca were 3-2 up and in control. Gamechanger.

Magic City Soccer podcast Episode 68: Jorge Mas sits down with Magic City Soccer

Inter Miami CF managing partner Jorge Mas sits down with Magic City Soccer. Video by Matthew Bunch and Abel Iraola.

Abel and Matt sit down with Inter Miami CF managing partner Jorge Mas to discuss Lockhart Stadium, Miami Freedom Park and much more. Join us, won’t you?

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