On Tuesday, a hearing will consider the NASL‘s request for a preliminary injunction that could allow it remain a Division II league for the 2018 season.
Back in September, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) announced that the NASL would not retain its Division II status for the 2018 season, claiming the league had not made sufficient progress to reach Division II criteria: 12 teams across three time zones, with minimum standards for stadium sizes, market sizes and owner net worth. The league later countered by filing an antitrust lawsuit against the USSF, alleging that the federation violated federal antitrust laws through its structure that denied Division II status.
As part of the ongoing legal case, the NASL has requested a preliminary injunction that would restore its Division II status. League officials have previously argued that granting the injunction is crucial to its viability, contending that operating at a lower level would be an unsustainable situation.
The outcome of the hearing–which will take place in a U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, NY–is pending. For right now, the statuses of several NASL teams–including the Jacksonville Armada–remain to be seen. More from The Florida Times-Union:
It’s unknown exactly how many other current or prospective NASL franchises would be willing and able to join such a league.
[Armada owner Robert] Palmer declined comment on the lawsuit last week, referring instead to the statement given by interim NASL commissioner Rishi Sehgal in September.
Club officials, however, expressed strong optimism that the Armada will play in 2018, which would be the team’s fourth season.
The NASL initially filed its lawsuit in September.
Update: Following Tuesday’s hearing, NASL Interim Commissioner Rishi Sehgal released a statement. “We are thankful to have our day in Court to present our arguments before the Judge. We remain hopeful for a ruling in our favor, which of course we believe is supported by the law, the facts, and justice. We look forward to the Court’s ruling in the coming days.”
Image courtesy Jacksonville Armada.
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