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Wednesday Kickoff: Premier League considering games abroad; Official may challenge Blatter; and more


Photo by Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports



Six years after originally proposing a “39th game”, the Premier League is reportedly looking into resurrecting discussions on playing outside of England.

The concept of playing abroad was originally discussed in 2008, but was quickly met with disapproval. However, with lucrative preseason tours, including Manchester United’s friendly with Real Madrid that drew 109,318 fans, and the NFL’s annual London scheduling serving inspiration, the idea was reportedly back up for discussion at last month’s Premier League shareholders meeting.

One executive on board with the idea is Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins, who insists the club is “on the bandwagon” despite feeling that a potential game abroad is against the spirit of the league.

“I think it is inevitable it is going to happen,” Jenkins said. “While we may not be 100% about it, as passionate football supporters just watching football as we have, it’s going to be a big change. The other side of that is we have got to make sure we are on the bandwagon with them or we are going to get left behind otherwise.

“There’s definitely going to be a run of games played abroad in 12 months or two years. Whatever happens with the changes in the Premier League, we have got to be finishing high enough to be part of it. That’s where it’s going to be and where the money is. It’s a sad reflection of where football is but unless we are part of that, it’s inevitable we are going to fall behind. We have got to make sure, whether we like it or not, we are on board with it.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Wednesday morning:


It has widely been accepted that current FIFA president Sepp Blatter is likely set to continue into his fifth term. However, things may not be as clear cut as a new horse may be entering the race for the job.

Current Chile Football Federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls is considering a run for FIFA President and has until January to submit an official declaration of his candidacy. Mayne-Nicholls, who is currently “studying the situation”, led FIFA’s inspection into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding nations.

“A decision is not necessary before Jan. 28 next year,” Mayne-Nicholls said. “The election is on May 29, so we have all of October, November, December and January. That means four months to check everything so that the people who have contacted me — and whom I have contacted — can assess the best way forward.

Mayne-Nicholls also voiced his opinion that FIFA’s current state needs shaking up, especially when it comes to leadership.

“I wrote a column a few months ago for El Pais in Spain in which I point out the need for fresh air,” he said. “What has happened lately has not served the image of FIFA or, indirectly, football.

“There is a complete disconnect between what the fans think is needed and the administration of the game. That leads me to believe that you can both accomplish change while maintaining what works well. I do not think it is wise, in the long term, to maintain both the same individuals and structures.”


Despite spending over a decade at the club, Chelsea’s Petr Cech may soon be on the move.

The 32-year-old evolved into one of the world’s best goalkeepers during his time in blue, but the emergence of 22-year-old Thibaut Courtois has left Cech with a role as backup. Cech remains focused on 2016 European Championships, and the goalkeeper insists that he must get regular playing time ahead of the tournament.

“I think they know me well enough at Chelsea to know that the situation is definitely not the way I would imagine,” Cech said Tuesday while on international duty. “With the European Championships in 2016 and the national team in mind, there is no time for me to sit on the bench and not to play.

“I have not spoken to anybody at the club but if the situation will not start to improve for me then I will want to solve it.”


Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil will undergo an MRI scan on his knee while with the German national team. (REPORT)

Juventus defender Martin Caceres is set to miss a month after suffering a thigh injury in the team’s 3-2 victory over Roma Sunday. (REPORT)

FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger has revealed that a European World Cup berth may be redistributed to an African nation. (REPORT)

AC Milan’s Jeremy Menez will undergo tests on an inner thigh injury. (REPORT)

Brazilian club Portuguesa have hired a hypnotist to help team get out of slump. (REPORT)

What do you think of the idea of Premier League teams playing abroad? Will Blatter’s reign as FIFA president continue? Which teams could use a goalkeeper like Cech?

Share your thoughts below.




  1. i hope the EPL does not come here for regular season games. England has no american football league for the NFL to compete with, so playing a game there is not the same as an EPL team coming here. the EPL coming here undermines MLS as well as NASL.

      • Yeah but you’re saying they shouldn’t come here because we have a domestic league already but so does everywhere else.

      • what domestic american football league does England have?

        the NFL going to England is not the same as the EPL coming to the USA. there is no NFL competitor in England, so there is no undermining by the NFL when playing in England.

        since the USA actually has a top domestic soccer league, MLS, if the EPL were to come here, it undermines MLS.

        if the EPL goes anywhere that has a top domestic soccer league, it undermines the domestic league. if there is no league to undermine, like in the case with american football, there is no issue.

  2. Would be hard to do it for a BPL match because it would give teams lopsided home matches. However, they should try it with some FA Cup games.

    • Why would you want THEIR tournaments or games here? I’m American and I don’t want it. I am sure there are lots of English who would hate it. If they want to force it, maybe the Charity Shield, but I wouldn’t.

  3. A UEFA spot to Africa??? Asia should have a spot taken away, big time. Although this is ultimately good news for C’CAF and our chances to advance deep in the tournament…

    • Will never happen but I think they should take a spot each from CAF and AFC and give an extra spot to UEFA and 1/2 extra to CONCACAF and CONMEBOL – in other words the fifth place CONMEBOL team and the fourth place CONCACAF team would qualify automatically, no playoff needed. Then merge OFC into AFC. So it would be AFC, CAF, CONCACAF – 4 each, CONMEBOL – 5 and UEFA – 14. Plus one for the host.

      • I am all for leaving it as is for right now. I don’t think need 4 (3.5 is enough) and CAF should go down to to 4. Honduras (which was realistically the 4th best team) and arguably Panama (who was 5th) would have a hard time getting by 5th place Cameroon or possible 6 placed teams Egypt, Senegal, or Burkina Faso (I actually do watch it – I started doing it when I worked it Europe and got hooked).

        CONMEBOL does not need another spot. 4.5 spots are available for 10 countries that means half the countries on average go to the World Cup (it’s usually 5). This time 6/10 countries qualified. Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia are not threats to win the tournament.

        OFA 0.5 spot gets taken care of through playoff. If they can beat a team (like New Zealand did in 2010), then they belong.

        AFC had 4.5 for 40 countries. That half spot gets taken care if in playoffs.

        CONCACAF should stay where it is as well. No CONCACAF team has made the semi which is something that CONMEBOL, AFC and UEFA can all claim. Mexico is the only team that has made the quarters more than once (CUBA and USA making it in the 30’s does not count). Mexico makes to the round of 16 EVERY time they have been at the World Cup going back to 1970! USA failed to do that in ’98 and ’06. Costa Rica is third best record, but has only qualified for the World Cup 4 times and had not made it out of the group stage since ’90. This is a good generation, but not consistency. We see if there is some material consistency. Nobody has real history/track record. People forget that not too long ago, CONCACAF was just Mexico.

        In my opinion, there should be 3/4 floating spots that go to the 3/4 highest ranked teams past automatic qualifiers. However, this should have the UEFA Club/Country coefficient model and force countries to play teams from all federations. All games (friendlies and qualifiers) count. Wins/losses.draws have different weights/points and do it over a floating, 5 previous years formula.

  4. I really hope MLS does everything it can to stop the EPL from Barnstorming in NFL stadiums. It seems like that would be a total FU to our domestic league.

    • I completely agree, but I don’t know if they have the power to stop another league from playing in the US or a business man from partially financing this venture anymore than they stop another soccer league from popping up.

    • Agree 100%. I hope it doesn’t happen. We already have many soccer fans treating EPL as their domestic league (WHICH IT’s NOT!!!). No need to create more of them

    • i agree. although, it’d be be better for MLS altogether if they stopped the preseason tours completely and only played a “regular” game. I’m tired of MLS summers being crowded by inconsequential friendlies scheduled only for money.

  5. I have the chance to attend an “Open Q+A” featuring Klinsmann tonight. I assume I was invited through the US Soccer Supporters Club, it sounds pretty informal, like some mingling with fans/business people. Has anyone been to one of these before and can tell me what to expect? Also, any good questions to ask JK beyond the usual stuff? Thanks!


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