(WFI) During a press conference in Canada, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told reporters that Major League Soccer has decided to join the FIFA calendar.
Almost every major league across the globe, according to Sport Illustrated, has “adopted to play a schedule through August until May.”
Sports Illustrated’s Chase Ruttig says that if Major League Soccer makes this “long debated change,” its representatives will have to factor in extended winter breaks for clubs who play in temperate climates.
Winter weather in North America represents the “biggest obstacle” for Major League Soccer, according to Ruttig. Clubs in northern United States markets could be “punished with long stretches of winter matches” on the road.
“Time will tell if Major League Soccer is going to make a move that seems like it will eventually be made to appease FIFA in the future,” Ruttig concludes.
Discrimination Charge Ahead of Women’s World Cup
FIFA is allegedly discriminating against women by allowing the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) to stage matches for the 2015 Women’s World Cup on artificial surfaces throughout Canada.
A group of 40 female footballers made the claim to The Equalizer on Tuesday.
The Equalizer reports the group has retained legal counsel to “fight against a second-class playing surface which they say amounts to gender discrimination that violates Canadian and European charters.”
The CSA has confirmed to The Equalizer that it received a letter addressed to its president, Victor Montagliani, and CEO, Peter Montopoli, alerting them to the movement.
The Toronto Sun says five of Canada’s six host cities – Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton – feature venues with turf fields, “a surface undesirable to those who play the game, specifically the Americans.”
Earlier this year, football star Abby Wambach addressed the controversy during an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“We believe this is a shame not only for the players but for the fans,” Wambach said. “The game plays differently on artificial surface, not only because of fear of injury but because it’s a different surface.”
By INSIDER’s Nicole Bennett