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Barcelona Withdraws Support for La Liga Match in US Next Month

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Barcelona fans celebrate at the end of a match. Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hanna

By Liam Morgan |

La Liga’s plans to stage a regular season game in the United States have been scuppered after FC Barcelona withdrew backing for next month’s match against Girona.

The clash between FC Barcelona and Girona in Miami on January 26 was set to be the first La Liga match to be held outside of Spain.

A 15-year deal signed by La Liga with Relevent Sports to expand the competition’s reach to the US includes playing one regular season game in the country.

FC Barcelona’s board confirmed it still agreed with the proposal but ended its support for playing the match against Girona in the US owing to the “lack of consensus” surrounding the idea.

La Liga’s controversial plan has been met with criticism and legal challenges, with a court decision following action taken by the league against the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) due to be announced tomorrow.

FIFA has also expressed its opposition, although La Liga quickly responded with the threat of legal action against world football’s governing body.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino claimed the ruling Council had “emphasized the sporting principle that official match leagues must be played within the territory of the respective member association” following a meeting in Kigali in October.

“The FC Barcelona Board of Directors have agreed to withdraw their willingness to play against Girona in Miami after seeing the lack of consensus surrounding the proposal,” Barcelona’s Board said in a statement.

“Barcelona were and are willing to go to Miami in order to play a La Liga game, and accepted that the profits would be shared amongst all clubs in the first and second divisions, in alignment with the TV rights deal, but considers that while all the parties involved cannot reach an agreement, this project cannot thrive.”

In response, La Liga said it “regrets” the stance taken by Barcelona but promised it would work “in the shortest time possible” to hold a match outside of Spain.

“La Liga will continue its court proceeding so an official league game can be played outside of Spain,” the league added in a statement.

“La Liga believes strongly that RFEF is not acting in accordance with the law.”

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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