Deal or no deal? WPS, Dan Borislow and mostly third parties continue to point fingers.
Monday’s news that Women’s Professional Soccer will not hold a 2012 season surprised nearly everyone following the league. After all, the long drawn-out, ugly spat between Borislow, the rogue owner of team magicJack, and the five other WPS owner had been settled outside of court. So it seemed.
WPS cited the on-going battle with Borislow as a major reason for suspending play this year.
Borislow seems puzzled as to why the deal was not followed through with by WPS. As it turns out, the deal was never one that could be fulfilled under FIFA statutes. That is according to multiple sources close to the situation.
According to those sources, teams unaffiliated with any FIFA sanctioned league cannot play against other FIFA members. WPS clubs, under the U.S. Soccer umbrella, are members of FIFA (or they would be, anyway, if they were playing). Remember, this issue came up back when it was unclear if the league would be sanctioned. Players could risk their FIFA eligibility playing in an unsanctioned league.
So the issue seems less about if the deal is contingent on U.S. Soccer and more about the overarching power that is FIFA.
This is all the current story, although for those paying attention, there have been situations similar to those listed above as supposedly illegal. The LA Vikings put together an exhibition team this winter and played the United States and Canada. There was no issue raised there, externally anyway. The Vikings continue to plan out more exhibitions for later in the year.
So it seems that it is not WPS bailing out of a deal, but rather pre-established by-laws (who knew those existed?!) that prevented the deal. We think, anyway.
So, deal or no deal?
If there is one thing that we have learned in this saga – which has been drawn out since December 2010 – is that there is always more to the story.
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