FIFA has confirmed it will examine the Premier League’s plan to stage some matches overseas, president Sepp Blatter has confirmed.
The Premier League on Thursday revealed plans for a new “international round” of fixtures to be added to the league’s calendar and played in North America, Asia and Europe.
Under FIFA’s statutes, any competitive fixture played in a foreign territory needs to be approved by the body’s executive committee as well as the football association of the country in which the game is to be played.
“FIFA has been made aware through media reports of these plans,” Blatter said.
“We will expect official documents from the Premier League to be sent to us and the matter will be brought to the attention of the executive at our next meeting, who will then look at the matter.”
The Premier League’s plans has divided opinion in England, with several managers backing the plan while supporters groups have spoken out against the proposal.
The Football Supporters’ Federation has launched a campaign to prevent the scheme going ahead.
The FSF plans actions at every Premier League ground to promote its ‘NO TO GAM£ 39’ campaign.
“The Premier League have gone too far with their proposals to invent an extra fixture to be played abroad and the time for football fans to stand up and be counted has arrived,” FSF said in a statement.
“Under the banner of the ‘NO TO GAM£ 39′ campaign The Football Supporters’ Federation will co-ordinate strong, swift and decisive action, at both national and local levels, which will leave those seemingly intent on destroying our national game in no doubt that we’ve had enough.”
And the Premier League also faces opposition from the Japan Football Association if it wants to include Tokyo on its list of destinations.
“It sounds problematic,” JFA vice-president Junji Ogura told PA SportsTicker. “We are, in principle, opposed to having their [Premier League] games in Japan as we have to protect our league and clubs.
“In Japan, we don’t allow anyone to play a match that involves only foreign clubs and no Japanese clubs.”
Ogura revealed that the JFA have turned down previous requests from Serie A and other leagues to stage exhibition matches in the country without the involvement of Japanese clubs.
“I don’t think we will change our minds,” Ogura continued. “You cannot have your matches outside your region without having an approval from the relevant confederation and national association.
“I don’t know if the AFC [Asian Football Confederation] will give approval to the Premier League’s overseas matches, but they may well oppose the Premier League’s plans in order to protect their own associations.”
However, the German Football Association was more open to the possibility.
“In the past, we have received an enquiry from the Dutch football league about the staging of matches in Dusseldorf or Hamburg,” a spokesman for the DFL said.
“That was discussed with the DFB, but a game was neverp layed in the end. Any such decision (on staging games in Germany or German games abroad) would only be made in agreement with the DFB.”