Two U.S. minor-league soccer teams filed a claim with the Court of Arbitration for Sports to require the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) to adopt a promotion and relegation system across all divisions of U.S. soccer.
The two teams are Miami FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL) and Kingston Stockade FC of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Unlike much of the rest of world soccer, U.S. soccer doesn’t promote teams who win their divisions to upper divisions, or relegate teams who finish poorly in their divisions to lower divisions.
The teams claim FIFA rules require its members to adopt promotion and relegation rules.
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USSF is one of FIFA’s 211 members.
The claim says the United States and Australia are the only two FIFA members who violate the rule. In addition to FIFA, CONCACAF and the USSF are named in the claim.
“When it comes to soccer success, America lags behind the rest of the world. One reason is because our system is not an open system and is actually blocked from becoming an open system,” said Kingston Stockade FC owner Dennis Crowley.
“By embracing pro/rel and using this tried-and-true system, we would have a greater ability to unlock additional soccer markets, reward investment in those markets, and create new talent pools within the United States.”
Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn said “the closed system for soccer used here in the United Sates is in violation of FIFA rules.
“By adopting the rules followed by virtually every other soccer playing nation around the globe, soccer in America will be open, resulting in better teams through all divisions, compelling story lines to increase fan excitement and greater financial success for everyone involved in this beautiful game.”