Champions League matches to be played in the USA

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Until a while ago there were rumors about it that were constantly denied. However, issues of this magnitude cannot remain hidden for too long. The need for secrecy may be understandable. But, in today’s world where it’s difficult to keep things away from the general public for too long, the latest interview that UEFA’s president, Aleksander Čeferin, gave to the American podcast «Men in Blazers», came to confirm a long-suspected venture: that it is quite possible that there will be matches for the Champions League to be played in the U.S.A. As expected, the revelation sent every sports betting blog, every news agency and every entity linked with the subject matter, into overdrive.

It has been in the works for quite a while

In the same interview, he revealed that the discussions have been initiated quite a while ago, while he let slip that there could have already been an agreement, if some of the international competitions, like Euro 2024, and the next 3 finals set for Istanbul, London and Munich. Reading between the lines on this, it means that if any matches are to be played in the soccer fields of the United States, it will happen after 2026. 

It should be expectable that after the agreement to hold prominent NFL games in London, something similar should be under consideration that would drive equally prominent European soccer matches to the U.S.A. In fact, Čeferin admitted that the main reason for the endeavor is that the popularity of the sport has risen to dramatic levels. In 30 of the matches for the last Euro the TV spectator ratings were greater than those of the NBA finals and at the same level as the Super Bowl.

Of course, money have something to do with it

As the UEFA president stated, the Americans are willing to pay quite a large amount of money for nothing but the best. Since the organization is returning 97% of the money to the clubs, UEFA needs to keep the amounts as high as possible. Sponsorships are already high and if this comes to pass, they will skyrocket.

The greatest problem that needs to be addressed is the time difference. As Čeferin put it, holding matches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon will not do any good. So, there must be some sort of research to set the best dates and times that the matches could be held and make a difference.

For the clubs there will be other issues

So far, there have been no official statements by any of the clubs. Holding matches in the USA, would mean adjustability problems to new conditions, playing in unknown fields and a host of other major and minor problems. It is well-known that they already complain about the number of matches they have to play per year. Adding the distance makes things even worse. However, there will probably be some sort of a compensation, or an incentive, so that they can regard the proposal as a favorable one.

For the punters, the professional tipsters and the betting establishments, it will open up a new corridor of possibilities. They will need a good deal of research to determine good sets of odds and proposals for matches with completely new underlying circumstances.