The Major League Soccer Players Association announced Wednesday that it ratified a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the owners of the league, which will allow the plan to restart the 2020 season to move forward. The new CBA will run through 2025 and allows the league to move ahead with its plan to resume the 2020 season that has been suspended since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The statement also acknowledges the events currently unfolding in the United States in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
“However, we recognize that we are all moving forward – as players, as fans, as societies, as a world – into a future that looks much different than the one we envisioned a few months ago. There are problems we face collectively that are both more urgent, and more important, than competing on the field. We are grieving, we are fed up, we expect change and we expect action. This change won’t come on the field, but it will come partly through the force and determination of all who seek justice and equality. We hope our return to the field will allow fans a momentary release and a semblance of normalcy. We are committed as a group to doing all that we can – both as leaders in our sport as well as leaders in our communities – to help carry our countries, our communities, our league and our sport forward.”
The league will now resume with a tournament including all 26 of the league’s teams relocating to Orlando.
“I think it’s very positive to start planning and programming everything to return to play,” one MLS GM told CBS Sports. “We’ll keep a more than close eye on player safety and health before anything and will be proud to be able to [play] again. Hopefully it will be well received by fans and create even new fans.”
According to reporting from The Athletic, teams that are able to stay in their market for training will be allowed to remain in their market until just before the beginning of the tournament in early July. With Governor Cuomo announcing in mid-May that sports teams could return to playing in the state as long as no fans were in attendance, this would mean that both NYCFC and New York Red Bulls would be allowed to train at their own facilities for the next month.
Statement on CBA Ratification: pic.twitter.com/a71SJZRCfA— MLSPA (@MLSPA) June 3, 2020
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