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Gazidis: MLS Welcomes EPL Expansion
Sky Sports News, February 11th, 2008 4:45PM

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MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis talks to Sky Sports News about the Premier League's plan for global expansion through an "international round" of matches, saying he would support the measure as long as it gets FIFA approval. However, Gazidis noted that the decision to tack on a 39th game played in international venues would have implications for MLS and other leagues around the world.

"I don't see it as a negative for MLS, but the implications go beyond these games on their own," Gazidis said. "There are implications for the game worldwide. There are implications when matches are taken across borders in this way." He added that MLS would be part of the Premier League's push into big cities like New York and Los Angeles. "We are the premier promoter of international soccer in North America and clearly we would like to get involved," he said.

Gazidis also had praise for Premier League Chief Richard Scudamore, with whom he has a "very close relationship." Gazidis called the EPL leader a "visionary" who understands the opportunity for English soccer to expand its growing presence around the world. "Richard is looking to push the envelope but at the same time he understands that he can't push it too far," he said. The greater question (which Gazidis did not address) is: would competitive EPL matches played in the States help raise the profile of MLS-or diminish it?

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