FIFA enter fray as Dundee and Celtic target Stateside tie
FIFA has warned Dundee and Celtic it might make the final decision on their plans to host a Ladbrokes Premiership match in the United States.
Dundee’s American owners Tim Keyes and John Nelms have raised the possibility of taking the Scottish champions Stateside.
Early talks with their Celtic counterparts have taken place, with both clubs keen to exploit the Parkhead side’s large support in the States by staging a match in either Boston or Philadelphia.
An official request has not yet been lodged, but the Scottish Professional Football League was quick to warn that it would have to give the green light for any game to be played overseas. And now FIFA has also confirmed it could yet step in to rule on the plans.
In a statement given to Press Association Sport, the world game’s governing body said: “In accordance with the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches, any such match could only be played if approved by the member associations and confederations concerned. Further, according to article 82.4 of the FIFA Statutes, FIFA may take in any case a final decision.
“For the time being we have not been contacted with regard to the specific proposal referred to.”
Dundee confirmed talks had taken place with Celtic but admitted their plans were still to be fleshed out. But UEFA also warned both clubs they would face hurdles before they could start planning to cross the Atlantic.
A UEFA spokesperson said: “First and foremost this is a matter for the national associations concerned and for FIFA.
But it must be remembered that the framework of the game worldwide is based on association football and the rules and boundaries which apply. As a result, clubs cannot simply choose which country they want to play in. There are rules in place and procedures which need to be respected.”
However, the plan has been backed by Celtic fans in America.
John Joe Devlin, chairman of the Philadelphia Celtic Supporters Club, welcomed the proposal. “If the NFL can take games to London I don’t see why the SPFL can’t allow a game to take place in the States,” he said.