Ligue 1 quartet heading stateside to sell French soccer
The LFP, the French professional soccer league, has confirmed plans to stage a pre-season tournament in USA, as part of a broader strategy to grow exposure of Ligue 1 and attract greater investment from the country.
Olympique de Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux and Montpellier have been unveiled as the participants in a tournament in the Washington D.C. from 15 to 22 July.
The games will be played at Audi Field, the home of Major League Soccer club D.C. United, with the tour sponsored by Electronic Arts, the maker of the popular Fifa video game.
Marseille (Frank McCourt) and Bordeaux (hedge fund GACP) are both owned by Americans.
Perennial Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain could not take part in any US tournament given they are scheduled to tour China in July.
In a bid to increase the popularity of the top-tier Ligue 1 around the world, the LFP has identified USA, China and India as its three priorities in terms of global expansion.
Didier Quillot, the league’s executive director, said earlier this year: “Our intention is to organise a mini tour in USA in the summer of 2019 with certain French clubs taking part in European competition, in order to allow them to promote their brand in this strategic market.”
Quillot travelled to USA a handful of times last year, hosting lunches with potential investors in Ligue 1 clubs.