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MLS Commissioner Don Garber was in Zurich on Thursday representing Major League Soccer at a special meeting of the newly-created World Leagues Forum (WLF), an organization formed to represent the interests and collective views of professional soccer leagues.


MLS was one of 10 leagues with a representative at the steering group meeting held on the eve of the FIFA Congress in the same city. Representatives from the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel, the Dutch Eredivisie, Mexico’s Liga MX, Colombia’s Dimayor and Japan’s J-Leagues were also on hand.


The WLF is currently comprised of 23 professional leagues from four different continents, representing approximately 1,100 clubs and 20,000 players. The group is aiming to help develop modern, effective governance for the sport in a way that simultaneously respects the role of national governing bodies and gives leagues and their member clubs a larger role in the governing process.


The WLF is also aiming to foster cooperation between the leagues and their member clubs, with an emphasis on helping emerging leagues develop. The forum hopes to represent its members on all matters of common interest with sport and political institutions, with an overarching goal of presenting an integrated approach that promotes competitive and captivating soccer competitions around the world.  


Leagues and clubs currently don’t have a large role at the highest levels of the sport’s governance, as FIFA officials, continental confederations and national federations hold much of the power in FIFA’s current setup.


The WLF announced in a statement on Thursday that they’re “willing to work with the future president of FIFA, whoever they may be, to promote the presence and the input of the leagues within FIFA governance, and play an active role within FIFA’s future decision-making process at all levels.”


The forum also announced that they have agreed to a three-member “management group” consisting of Enrique Bonilla from Liga MX, Christian Seifert from the Bundesliga and Frederic Thiriez from the Ligue de Football Professionnel.


FIFA is scheduled to hold its presidential election on Friday in Zurich. 

Commissioner Don Garber represents MLS at World Leagues Forum meeting in Zurich - World Leagues Forum