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FIFA still insistent MLS fall in line with world football calendar

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has made a new call for Major League Soccer (MLS) to align its regular season with the world football calendar, stating it would further assist the development of the sport in the United States, reports Sport Business. The MLS season currently begins in March and concludes in November.

The League has already announced that its 2012 season will retain its traditional dates, but Blatter has maintained that efforts are ongoing to re-align the season describing the move as "very important".

He told Fox Soccer: "(The move) was one of the key points we have discussed with the leadership of MLS and US Soccer the other day, and they are working on that."

Blatter continued: "If (US Soccer has) the courage to change, they will do it, they told me. But they need some time to change that - to adapt to the international calendar. It means to the European calendar. It would be better for US Soccer, and specifically also for the (United States) national team, and the popularity inside the country."

The FIFA president admitted the major obstacle currently preventing the move is MLS franchises who share stadia with National Football League (NFL) teams.

The majority of MLS clubs now have their own soccer-specific homes, but the Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution continue to use the stadia of the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

Blatter added: "(MLS teams) have to play in summer because they are using the stadia of American football. And when they have their own stadium, they can change the calendar - they have to change the calendar."

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Dave Williams

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