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Leagues Cup

I. LEAGUES CUP

  1. Leagues Cup (the “Competition”) is a competition between Major League Soccer (“MLS”) and Liga BBVA MX (“Liga MX”). The Competition has been sanctioned by the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (“Concacaf”).
  2. The Competition will be played every year and will take place at a date and location to be determined by the Leagues Cup Organizing Committee as jointly established by MLS and Liga MX and composed of MLS and Liga MX executives duly appointed by their respective leagues (the “Competition Committee”).
  3. These regulations for the 2021 edition of the Competition (the “Regulations”) regulate the rights, duties and responsibilities of all taking part in the Competition.

II. THE LEAGUES CUP ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  1. The Competition Committee is responsible for the organization of the Competition. The Competition Committee retains the right for all final decisions.
  2. The Competition Committee shall, amongst other matters, be responsible for:
  3. a. Supervising general preparations, taking other tournaments, geographic and economic factors into consideration;
  4. b. Approving the schedule and kick-off times for each match of the Competition (each, a “Competition Match”);
  5. c. Appointing match commissioners, technical study groups and referee assessors;
  6. For the 2021 edition of the Competition, Liga MX and MLS will mutually agree on match commissioners assigned to each match. (each, a “Match Commissioner”).
  7. d. Judging infringements concerning the eligibility of players in the Competition;
  8. e. Settling cases of force majeure;
  9. f. Dealing with any aspect of the Competition that is not the responsibility of any other body under the terms of these Regulations.

III. PARTICIPATING CLUBS

  1. Each Club participating in the Competition (each, a “Participating Club”) shall be responsible throughout the Competition for the following:
  2. a. The conduct of the members of its delegation (officials and players), and of any person carrying out duties on its behalf throughout the Competition.
  3. b. Health, travel and accident insurance coverage for all the members of its delegation throughout the Competition.
  4. c. Incidental expenses incurred by its delegation members during the course of their stay in the host countries and for any costs incurred by additional members of the delegation.
  5. d. Paying for any costs of extending the stay of any member of its delegation throughout the Competition, unless otherwise approved by the Competition Committee.
  6. e. Applying for visas in good time from the diplomatic mission of the host country or countries, as necessary.
  7. f. Attending press conferences and other official media activities organized by the Competition Committee and in accordance with its instructions.
  8. g. Allowing the Competition Committee to use its club crest and word mark (the “Club Marks”) for the promotion of the Competition and allow the Competition sponsors to use the Club Marks collectively with all other remaining Participating Clubs, for the sole purpose of promoting the Competition. The Competition Committee may issue separate guidelines that cover the commercial usage of player images.
  9. h. Adherence to all health and safety regulations related to COVID-19 screening and testing in agreement between Liga MX and Major League Soccer that satisfies each league’s current protocols at time of competition.
  10. Participating Clubs and their players and officials participating in the Competition shall agree to fully respect and comply with the following:
  11. a. The 2021-2022 Laws of the Game and the principles of Fair Play.
  12. b. The Competition regulations, rules, codes, protocols, circulars, directives, and decisions (including these Regulations).
  13. c. Anti-Discrimination measures enacted as necessary in-stadium on match day according to the protocol which is incorporated into these 2021 Leagues Cup Competition Guidelines by reference and attached as Exhibit B
  14. d. All Competition Committee marketing and media requirements, including but not limited to, media days in which individual and group photos and video will be taken of each Participating Club upon their arrival at the venue of each applicable round of the Competition.
  15. e. All decisions and directives of the Competition Committee.
  16. Participating Clubs shall take all necessary actions for their players and officials to be bound by and comply with all the aforementioned statutes, regulations, rules, codes, protocols, circulars,directives, decisions, stipulations and requirements.
  17. Refrain from any illegal, immoral or unethical behavior that damages, or could damage, the integrity and reputation of soccer and must cooperate fully with the Competition Committee at all times in its efforts to prevent, investigate and sanction such behavior.
  18. Any Participating Club that does not abide the regulations of the competition will be subject to a financial fine, determined by the Competition Committee, including any participating or winning prize money associated to the Competition.
  19. For each Competition Match, the Competition Committee will provide each applicable Participating Club with the following:
  20. a. One hundred (100) complimentary match tickets, and
  21. b. One (1) complimentary suite (excluding food and beverage). The location of such complimentary tickets and suites will be subject to availability.

IV. QUALIFYING FOR THE LEAGUES CUP

  1. For the 2021 edition of the Competition, MLS will select the four (4) Participating Clubs that will represent MLS.
  2. For the 2021 edition of the Competition, Liga MX will select the four (4) Participating Clubs that will represent Liga MX.
  3. For future editions of the Competition, MLS and Liga MX will mutually agree to the number of Participating Clubs and each league will determine the sporting qualification criteria for their respective Participating Clubs.
  4. Notwithstanding the above, participation in the Competition is both an honor and a responsibility. Therefore, qualifying MLS and Liga MX clubs have the obligation to participate in the Competition, unless the Competition Committee accepts that failure to appear was due to force majeure.

V. COMPETITION FORMAT & COMPETITION VENUES

  1. The 2021 edition of the Competition will feature an eight (8) club, single- elimination tournament consisting of three (3) rounds (i.e., Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Final) at venues determined as described below (each, a “Competition Venue”).
  2. a. Quarterfinals are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, August 10, Wednesday, August 11 and Thursday August 12 at the venues of the four (4) MLS Participating Clubs.
  3. b. Semifinals are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, September 14 and/or Wednesday, September 15 at MLS venues to be determined as follows:
  4. i. If MLS Participating Club vs. MLS Participating Club, then the Competition Committee will determine which MLS Club will host.
  5. ii. If Liga MX Participating Club vs. Liga MX Participating Club, then an MLS venue will be selected.
  6. iii. If MLS Participating Club vs. Liga MX Participating Club, the Competition Match will be held at the venue of the MLS Participating Club.
  7. c. Final held on Wednesday, September 22 at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas.

VI. WITHDRAWALS, UNPLAYED MATCHES AND ABANDONED MATCHES

  1. Participating Clubs undertake to play the applicable Competition Match.
  2. Should any Participating Club withdraw from official participation without cause, the Competition Committee shall make the relevant decision.
  3. If a Participating Club withdraws or a match cannot be played or is abandoned as a result of force majeure, the Competition Committee shall decide on the matter at its sole discretion and take whatever action is deemed necessary.
  4. Further to subsection (3) above, in the case of a match being abandoned as a result of force majeure after it has already kicked off and the match is able to recommence within twenty-four (24) hours, the following principles will apply:
  5. a. The match shall recommence at the minute at which play was interrupted rather than being replayed in full, and with the same score line.
  6. b. The match shall recommence with the same players on the pitch and substitutes available as when the match was abandoned.
  7. c. No additional substitutes may be added to the list of players on the team sheet.
  8. d. The Participating Clubs can make only the number of substitutions to which they were still entitled when the match was abandoned.
  9. e. Players sent off during the abandoned match cannot be replaced.
  10. f. Any sanctions imposed before the match was abandoned remain valid for the remainder of the match.
  11. g. The kick-off time, date and location shall be decided by the Competition Committee.
  12. Further to subsection (3) above, the Competition Committee will determine in its sole discretionany modifications to the principles under subsection (4) above.
  13. Any other case not mentioned in this document will be addressed by the Competition Committee.

VII. LAWS OF THE GAME

  1. All Competition Matches will be played under the current 2021/2022 Laws of the Game as approved by the International Football Association Board (“IFAB”) and published by FIFA.
  2. In the case of any discrepancy in the interpretation of the Laws of the Game, the English and Spanish text shall be authoritative.
  3. If a Competition Match is tied at the end of regulation time it will directly proceed to kicks from the penalty spot to determine a winner.
  4. Twenty-three (23) players (11 starting players + 12 substitutes) will be allowed on the match roster as well as five (5) substitutions over the course of three (3) moments not including halftime will be allowed per Participating Club.
  5. a. IFAB Laws of the Game Concussion Substitute Protocol B
  6. • Above and beyond the 5 “normal” substitutions in 3 opportunities, each team will be permitted to make up to an additional 2 “concussion substitutions” when there is a suspected/possible concussion.
  7. • These 2 “concussion substitutions” are permitted regardless of how many “normal” substitutions or opportunities have already been used.
  8. • A “concussion substitution” may be made:
  9. o immediately after a concussion occurs or is suspected;
  10. o after an on-field assessment, and/or after an off-field assessment; or
  11. o at any other time when a concussion occurs or is suspected (including when a player has previously been assessed and has returned to the field of play).
  12. • When a “concussion substitute” is used, the opposing team then has the option to use an “additional” substitute and an additional substitution opportunity for any reason which may or may not be used at the same time as the opposing team’s “concussion substitution”.
  13. • A team’s “additional” substitution can only be used after the team has used all its “normal” substitutes or substitution opportunities.
  14. • At the “additional” substitution opportunity, only the “additional” substitute may enter the game. If the team has used all its “normal” substitution opportunities but has not used all 5 of its “normal” substitutes, the team is not permitted to use any remaining “normal” substitutes at the same time as the “additional” substitution opportunity.
  15. • If each team makes a substitution at the same stoppage, both teams will be charged an opportunity.
  16. • If a team makes a non-concussion substitution at the same stoppage where a “concussion substitution” is being made, that team will be charged an opportunity.
  17. • Once a team has used all its “normal” substitution opportunities, it cannot use a “concussion substitution” opportunity to make a “normal” substitution.
  18. Nine (9) Participating Club staff members (including Club Physician) will be permitted in the technical area for each Competition Match.
  19. Cooling and Drink Breaks
  20. a. Decision Making Process
  21. i. The Competition Committee will mandate the use of “cooling breaks” if the WBGT measures eighty-two (82) degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The Referee can, at any time and for any reason, implement a discretionary “drinks break” in cases in which player safety is determined to be at risk.
  22. ii. The option to employ a cooling break should be confirmed by the Referee to a member of each Club’s technical staff after each WBGT reading.
  23. iii. Any questions shall be directed to the Match Officials.
  24. iv. Implementation and control of the breaks shall be managed solely by the Referee.
  25. b. Implementation
  26. • Two (2) separate WBGT readings will take place during the match:
  27. i. The first reading shall take place immediately after the conclusion of pre-match warmups.
  28. o If the WBGT measurement meets or exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit, there must be a mandatory cooling break near the 30th and 75th minutes respectively.
  29. o If the WBGT measurement does not meet or exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit, there will not be a mandatory cooling break at the 30th minute.
  30. ii. The second reading will take place immediately after the Referee signals the end of the first half.
  31. o If the WBGT measurement meets or exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit after the second reading there shall be a mandatory cooling break near the 75th minute.
  32. iii. Each cooling break will last up between ninety (90) seconds and one-hundred eighty (180 seconds in length based on the Referee’s discretion.
  33. iv. If the WBGT drops by at least ten (10) degrees Fahrenheit (e.g., 72 degrees Fahrenheit or below) prior to the 30th or 75th minute, the Referee will have the ability to nullify the mandatory cooling break.
  34. v. The Fourth Official will be responsible for the reading of the temperature near the 30th and 75th minute respectively in cases where the WBGT may drop by at least ten (10) degrees Fahrenheit.
  35. vi. Additionally, the Referee can impose a “discretionary” drinks break(s) not to exceed sixty (60) seconds in length if they believe there is a risk to player safety even if the WBGT reading does not meet or exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  36. o The ball must be out of play for either the cooling or drinks break to commence. The Referee will signal for the start of the break and inform both Clubs and all Officials. The clock will continue to run, and all time allotted for the break will be added to stoppage time. Both Clubs will go to their respective Club Bench Areas.
  37. ▪ Players must remain on the field of play.
  38. ▪ Coaches cannot leave their respective technical areas.
  39. ▪ Bench personnel cannot enter the field of play (excluding medical personnel).

VIII. DURATION, TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES

  1. Each Competition Match shall last ninety (90) minutes, comprising two (2) periods of forty-five (45) minutes with an interval of fifteen (15) minutes in between.
  2. If a Competition Match is tied at the end of regulation time, there will be no extra time and the match will proceed directly to kicks from the penalty mark in accordance with the Laws of the Game.

IX. DISCIPLINE

  1. The following shall apply to any cautions and/or suspensions:
  2. a. Cautions received during any other competition are not carried over to the Competition.
  3. b. Red card (direct or indirect) suspensions shall be served during the current Competition.
  4. c. Unserved suspensions outstanding at the end of a Participating Club’s participation in the Competition will be carried over to the next Competition Match for the individual player.
  5. d. In cases of violent conduct and/or referee abuse/assault, all supplemental discipline will be managed by the applicable disciplinary body of each league as it relates to their own player’s actions.
  6. e. Suspensions from a player or staff member’s final Leagues Cup match played will carry over from/to the following Leagues Cup competition.

X. MEDICAL AND DOPING CONTROL

  1. Each Participating Club shall participate in the Competition with all participating players having fulfilled approved medicals as part of its respective League’s rules and regulations.
  2. The Venue Medical Director (“VMD”) will be responsible for the care and well- being of both Participating Clubs and will have the final decision on the welfare of both teams’ players during the match. The VMD will be appointed by the Competition Committee for each Competition Venue and must be qualified to evaluate and manage potential head injuries and be familiar with the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) of the venue.
  3. The VMD primary responsibilities during the Competition Match include the following:
  4. a. Making final decisions in consultation with Participating Club medical staff, if present, on all emergency situations with respect to treatment and plan of care for all emergency situations.
  5. b. Serving as an impartial physician in the event the Participating Club does not have a physician on site.
  6. c. Being the primary point of contact for Competition Committee in the event of a medical emergency.
  7. Further to the above, each Participating Club is required to have a duly licensed medical professional (i.e., a doctor) as part of its official delegation. Such doctor must be fully integrated and familiar with all medical aspects of the delegation and must remain with the delegation throughout the entire official period of the competition. The Match Officials will refer to such team doctor in all cases as required and necessary.
  8. The Competition Committee shall not be held liable for any injury sustained by any participating player or official. Equally, the Competition Committee shall not be held liable for any incident (including death) linked to any injury or health problem(s) of any participating player or official.
  9. As stated in these Regulations, each Participating Club shall be responsible throughout the Competition for providing health, travel and accident insurance coverage for all the members of its delegation throughout the competition. In addition, and in accordance with the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the club with which any participating player is registered shall be responsible for player’s insurance coverage against illness and accident during the entire period of the player’s release.
  10. Failure to comply with the aforementioned provision shall be sanctioned by the Competition Committee.
  11. Regarding non-traumatic loss of consciousness during a Competition Match, the referee will assume sudden cardiac failure until proven otherwise. The hand signal is the right-hand fist against the chest. Such signal will indicate to the team doctor and the medical emergency team (stretcher team) to immediately institute comprehensive resuscitation that includes the use of a defibrillator (AED) and CPR. It is the responsibility of the host Participating Club to ensure that there is a properly functioning AED immediately at hand and that there is an ambulance with an access and egress plan.
  12. Further to the above, regarding traumatic head injury and possible concussion, full return to play after a previous concussion must include no signs or symptoms of the previous head injury as well as an acceptable Sideline Concussion Assessment Test (SCAT) assessment.
  13. Doping is the use of certain substances or methods capable of artificially enhancing the physical and/or mental performance of a player, with a view to improving athletic and/or mental performance. If there is medical need as defined by the player’s doctor, then a Therapeutic Use Exemption (“TUE”) application must be filed fourteen (14) days prior to the applicable Competition Match for chronic conditions and as soon as possible for acute situations. The TUE approval system includes a designated administrative and functional committee that will review applications and certify the exemption as the committee defines.
  14. Doping is strictly prohibited. The FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, the FIFA Disciplinary Code and all other relevant FIFA as well as Concacaf Regulations, circulars and directives shall apply to the Competition.
  15. Every player may be subject to in-competition testing at the Matches in which he competes and to out-of-competition testing at any time and place. Furthermore, reference is made to the FIFA Anti-Doping Control Regulations and the list of prohibited substances and methods per the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
  16. If, in accordance with the FIFA Anti-Doping Control Regulations, a player tests positive for the use of banned substances, the player shall be immediately declared ineligible from further participation in the Competition and shall be subject to further sanctions from the Competition Committee.

XI. PROTESTS

  1. Protests, subject to the following provisions, are objections of any kind connected with Competition Matches.
  2. Any and all protests shall be submitted in writing to the Match Commissioner within twenty-four (24) hours before or after the relevant Competition Match.
  3. No protests may be lodged against the referee’s decisions on points of fact connected with play, such decisions being final.
  4. Once the winning team of the Competition Match has been proclaimed, any protest or complaint about the sports procedure followed during the Competition Match shall be disregarded.

XII. MATCH OFFICIALS

  1. The referees, assistant referees, fourth officials and reserve assistant referees (each, a “Match Official” and collectively the “Match Officials”) shall be appointed by Concacaf. They shall be selected from the FIFA International Refereeing list in force and shall be neutral.
  2. If the referee is prevented from carrying out his duties, such referee shall be replaced by the fourth official. If one of the assistant referees is prevented from carrying out his duties, suchassistant referee shall be replaced by the reserve assistant referee.
  3. The Match Officials shall receive the official refereeing kit and equipment from Concacaf. They shall wear and use only this kit on Competition Match days.
  4. The Match Officials shall be given the opportunity to use training facilities in the same market as the applicable Competition Venue.
  5. Use of small, hand-held electronic or communication devices (e.g., tablets, mobile phones) will be allowed in the technical area by each Participating Club’s technical staff, pursuant to the Laws of the Game, nonetheless at any point the use of video to protest a decision or incite the crowd will be allowed.
  6. After each Competition Match the referee shall complete the match report forms and hand it over immediately upon match completion to the Match Commissioner at the Competition Venue as directed.
  7. On the report form, the referee shall note, along with all the match results, all incidents before,during, and after the match in as much detail as possible, such as:
  8. a. Misconduct of players and team officials, leading to caution or expulsion.
  9. b. Unsporting behavior of officials and/or any person acting on behalf of the Participating Club at a match.
  10. c. Unsporting behavior of any supporters.
  11. d. Any other incidents.

XIII. VIDEO REVIEW

  1. During the Competition Matches, Video Review technology will be used, according to the VAR Protocol established by FIFA and IFAB. A Video Assistant Referee (“VAR”) and Assistant Video Assistant Referee (“AVAR”) will manage all aspects of Video Review.
  2. a. Concacaf will appoint the VAR and AVAR for each match.
  3. b. If Concacaf cannot fulfill their role in appointing the VAR and AVAR, and in cases where an MLS Club and Liga MX Club are playing against each other, the Competition Committee will approve a VAR and AVAR that represent each participating league.
  4. c. Notwithstanding the above, in principle a Competition Match will not be invalidated because of:
  5. i. Malfunction(s) of the VAR technology (as for goal line technology);
  6. ii. Wrong decision(s) involving the VAR;
  7. iii. Decision(s) not to review an incident; and/or
  8. iv. Review(s) of a non-reviewable situation/decision.
  9. The Competition Committee will manage the Video Review procedures consistent with the current MLS and Liga MX protocols for Video Review.

XIV. TRAINING SESSIONS

  1. Subject to stadium availability one (1) hour training for each Participating Club will take place on the calendar day immediately prior to the calendar day of the applicable Competition Match (“Matchday -1” or “MD-1”) at theCompetition Venue, at a mutually agreeable time for both clubs.

XV. SOCCER BALLS

  1. The Competition Committee will provide each Participating Club with twenty (20) official adidas soccer balls for use in all training sessions, to be delivered at such club’s hotel. Each Participating Club will be responsible for taking the soccer balls to the Stadium.
  2. The Competition Committee will provide the host Participating Club with a minimum of seventeen (17) official match balls (which can be previously-used match balls) for all Competition Matches. The host Participating Club will be responsible for providing such match balls to the Match Officials. When inflated, each soccer ball must not exceed more than fourteen (14) ounces/psi and no less than twelve (12) ounces/psi. All match balls must be delivered to the locker room of the Match Officials at least ninety (90) minutes prior to kick-off to pass inspection. Replacement balls needed during the Competition Match must be provided if necessary and must be inspected by the Fourth Official prior to it being used in the match. All match balls in the possession of the Match Officials must be returned to the home Club after the match.
  3. Soccer balls should be distributed as depicted in the Section (XVI) schematic and as follows:
  4. • One (1) in play;
  5. • One (1) stationed at the Fourth Match Official’s table either on a Ball Stand or on the table;
  6. • A minimum of thirteen (13) placed on the Ball Stands (as defined in Section XVI);
  7. • One (1) behind each goal’s AdTrac/LED field boards on the ground and accessible by the Ball Retriever.

XVI. BALL STANDS & BALL RETRIEVERS

  1. Ball stands (each, a “Ball Stand”) will be implemented in all Competition Matches. Each Competition Venue requires a minimum of thirteen (13) and maximum of fourteen (14) total Ball Stands in the following locations around the perimeter of the field: five (5) on the sideline opposite the benches; two (2) on both goal lines positioned on either side of the goal; two (2) outside each Club technical area for a total of four (4) on the bench sideline or five (5) if an additional stand is used at the Match Official’s Table. Each Competition Venue has preselected and will be provided with Ball Stand versions suitable to their stadium confines as follows:

  1. Ball Stands will be placed around the field according to Competition guidelines as follows:

  1. One (1) redundancy of each Ball Stand version utilized in each Competition Venue will be stored at the venue and/or used at the 4th Official’s Table and accessible at any time. Ball Stands behind a single goal must be the same version unless two (2) different versions are necessary to accommodate stadium configurations. Ball Stands on either end of the field are not required to be the same version. The Match Commissioner must ensure that Ball Stands and each respective Ball Stand ball is secure from any interference. The host Participating Club will have a minimum off four Ball Retrievers in matching jerseys provided by the Competition Committee (each, a “Ball Retriever”).
  2. The host Participating Club is responsible for ensuring uniform distribution of Ball Retrievers around the field so that one end and/or sideline of the field is not disadvantaged, and that the procedure for returning balls to the ball stands is equal for each Participating Club.
  3. Each Participating Club must have a Ball Retriever Supervisor responsible for training the Ball Retrievers on their overall responsibilities and providing them with ball distribution instructions, including instruction on not to exhibit favoritism. In the event of a perceived attempt by a Ball Retriever to exhibit favoritism toward either Participating Club in the method or speed in which a ball is returned to ball stands, the Match Commissioner or Match Official will take appropriate action immediately.
  4. Players will be responsible for retrieving the ball from the Ball Stand to restart play. The Ball Retriever must replace the ball on the empty Ball Stand, then immediately retrieve the errant ball and return to their positions. At no time should the Ball Retriever or any other individual deliver their ball or a Ball Stand ball directly to a player.
  5. Any player who removes a ball from a Ball Stand when his Participating Club is not in possession of the restart and/or for any other inappropriate reason may be cautioned by the Referee for Unsporting Behavior.

XVII. MATCH COORDINATION MEETING

  1. It will be mandatory for Participating Clubs to participate in the match coordination meetings which will take place on MD-1 or the morning of the match at a mutually determined time.
  2. Two (2) representatives from each Participating Club must be present at the meeting.
  3. The Competition Committee will provide each Participating Club with captain armband. If captain armbands are not provided by the Competition Committee within three (3) days prior to the applicable Competition Match, then each Participating Club will use its respective league’s captain armband.

XVIII. PLAYER REGISTRATION & COMPETITION ROSTERS

  1. The players and members of the coaching staff that will participate in each Competition Match must be registered and confirmed by Liga MX and MLS, respectively.
  2. Each Participating Club must submit to the Competition Committee its official rosters of up to thirty (30) league-eligible players (“Competition Roster”) at the latest ten (10) calendar days prior to the start of the Competition (i.e., 11:59 pm ET (23:59 ET) on Friday, July 30 for the 2021 edition of the Competition. Each Participating Club’s Competition Roster must contain the names of no less than eighteen (18) and no more than thirty (30) eligible players. Each Participating Club may change a maximum of three (3) player selections on their Competition Roster only in the case where the previously selected player has been confirmed COVID-19 positive, suffers an injury, and/or the Club acquires and signs a new player. The exchange and/or addition of a new player(s) under this provision must be completed seventy-two (72) hours prior to the beginning of the Quarterfinal round at 11:59 pm ET (23:59 ET) on Saturday, August 7th. At such time, each Participating Club’s Competition Roster will be considered final for the duration of the Competition.
  3. If a Participating Club qualifies for either the Semifinal round or the Final round of the Competition, such club may include up to an additional five (5) league-eligible players to its Competition Roster (i.e., for a maximum of thirty-five (35) players on the Competition Roster), provided such additional players are submitted to the Competition Committee at the latest ten (10) calendar days prior to the start of the relevant round of the Competition (i.e., 11:59 pm ET (23:59 ET) on Friday, September 3 for the Semifinal round of the 2021 Competition; and same deadline for the Final round of the 2021 Competition. A player already registered for the Competition by a Participating Club cannot be deleted from its Competition Roster, regardless of the reason (e.g., injury, temporary or permanent transfer, etc.).
  4. Participating Clubs must select at least twenty-three (23) and no more than twenty-five (25) players inclusive of three (3) Goalkeepers, from the Competition Roster for each Competition Match and submit such selection to the Competition Committee no later than 4:00 pm ET (16:00 ET) on the calendar day two (2) days immediately prior to the day of the applicable Competition Match (“Matchday – 2” or “MD-2”) of each Competition Match.
  5. Each Participating Club must adhere to the competition regulations from its applicable league regarding player eligibility. Only players currently registered to the Participating Club’s senior roster will be eligible to participate in the Competition.
  6. Each Participating Club shall be responsible for fielding only eligible players for each Competition Match. Failure to do so shall lead to the consequences stipulated in the applicable regulations.
  7. The list of players shall be published and made public by the Competition Committee.
  8. Should a Participating Club add a new player to its roster and abides by the roster rules and regulations of its respective league, said player would be eligible to participate in the Competition.

XIX. MATCHDAY ROSTER

  1. Of the twenty-five (25) players selected from Competition Roster in accordance with, only twenty-one (23) players (i.e., eleven (11) starting players and twelve (12) substitute players) will appear on the official match day roster (“Matchday Roster”). Up to a maximum of five (5) of the substitutes may take the place of the selected starting players at any time during the Competition Match over the course of three moments, not including halftime.
  2. The numbers on the players’ shirts must correspond to the numbers indicated on the Matchday Roster. The start list shall be signed by the head coach.
  3. Each Participating Club is responsible for arriving at the Competition Venue no later than ninety (90) minutes before the kick-off of the applicable Competition Match and for providing the completed Matchday Roster to the Match Commissioner and Match Coordinator upon such arrival.
  4. Each Participating Club is responsible for ensuring that the Matchday Roster is completed properly and submitted on time, and that only the selected players start the Competition Match.
  5. If any of the eleven (11) starting players submitted on the Matchday Roster are not able to beginthe match due to sudden injury or illness, they may be replaced by any of the eligible substitutes as long as the Match Commissioner is officially informed prior to kick-off. This will not count towards the five (5) substitutions allowed per team. Additionally, the empty spot on the substitution bench could be occupied by one (1) of the players on the Competition Roster that was not considered as part of the Matchday Roster. Participating Clubs may request this type of substitution up to ten (10) minutes prior to the start of the applicable Competition Match. At no time can a Participating Club’s substitute roster exceed twelve (12) players.
  6. Further to the above, any injured or ill player who is removed from the Matchday Roster will no longer be eligible to take part in the Competition Match, and thus cannot be selected as a substitute player at any time during the match. Such a change to the starting list on the Matchday Roster will not reduce the number of official substitutions that may be made by a team during the match. In accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of the Game, up to a maximum of five (5) substitutions may still be made.
  7. Although no longer eligible to play as a substitute, the injured or ill player who was removed from the starting list on the Matchday Roster may still be eligible for doping control selection;provided, however, such player may not enter the Participating Club’s technical area. The player must observe the match from a location, other than the technical area, designated for reserve players and Participating Club staff.
  8. Only the players who were identified as starting players on the Matchday Roster submitted to the Match Commissioner or were confirmed as a warm-up injury/illness replacement player, may start the Competition Match. In the case of any discrepancies of players on the pitch at thebeginning of a match, the matter will be submitted to the Match Commissioner for a decision.

XX. TECHNICAL AREA

  1. No more than twenty-one (21) people (nine (9) club officials and ten (12) substitutes) shall be allowed to sit in each Participating Club’s technical area. The team physician must travel with the Participating Club and sit in the technical area (i.e., for a total of nineteen (19) people). The names of these club officials must be indicated on the “Officials on the Technical Area Bench” form to be provided to the Match Commissioner. A suspended player or official will not be allowed to be in either technical area.

XXI. OFFICIAL PRESS CONFERENCE & MEDIA AVAILABILITY

  1. On MD-1 each Participating Club will do the following:
  2. a. Attend the official Competition press conference event at the Stadium prior to to or after the official MD-1 training.
  3. b. Ensure that the head coach and at minimum OF two (2) Participating Club players will attend such press conference for no more than thirty (30) minutes on MD-1. Due to Covid protocols, organizing committee may decide to conduct all media availability and press conference virtually. This will be assessed for each playing round and communicated to participating clubs in advance.
  4. c. Open its MD-1 training for a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes to allow media b-roll capture.
  5. d. Have player(s) available for short one-to-one interviews with media rights holders and official Competition channels as predetermined between the Participating Club, the Competition Committee and the media rights holder. These requests may be accomplished prior to MD-1, in coordination with organizing committee and the Rights holders.
  6. e. Have at least four (4) players available in a media mixed-zone for interviews either immediately before or after MD-1 training session. Such mixed-zone interviews will have a maximum duration of five (5) minutes for each participating player.
  7. On matchday, each Participating Club will:
  8. a. Have player(s) available for pre-game interviews off the bus as pre- determined between the Participating Club, the Organizing Committee and media rights holder.
  9. b. Have its head coach and minimum of two (2) players participate in the post-game press conference. Due to Covid protocols, organizing committee may decide to conduct all media availability and press conference virtually. This will be assessed for each playing round and communicated to participating clubs in advance.
  10. c. Have at least four (4) players available in a media mixed zone for interviews following the match. Such mixed-zone interviews will have a maximum duration of five (5) minutes for each participating player.
  11. d. Immediately after the final whistle, a player will be selected Man of the Match. He will be announced on Stadium Jumbotron and will be requested to take a photo and/or conduct interview in front of sponsored backdrop placed at/by the field.
  12. XXII. OPENING CEREMONY AND AWARD PRESENTATION PROTOCOL
  13. The opening ceremony protocol prior to each Competition Match will consist of the following:
  14. a. Players walking onto the field in formation.
  15. b. Official team photos and coin toss amongst the captains.
  16. For the final in the award presentation post-game, a trophy will be given to the Club that has been declared the winner of the Competition.