The plans to stage a La Liga match in the United States has been plunged into doubt following a meeting between the Spanish FA and FIFA.
The Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, FIFA head Gianni Infantino and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have all voiced their disapproval of the move – which has caused discontent and havoc among managers and players – after holding a meeting in Madrid this week.
According to Spanish publication Marca, it is now ‘highly unlikely’ that plans for Barcelona to face Girona in Miami in January will go ahead amid the country’s political standoff with Catalonia.
The Spanish government are opposed to the idea as they feel the timing is wrong for two sides from the Catalan region to face-off in a high-publicity match in the USA.
Marca claim that the Spanish FA also feel that the decision to take La Liga matches to the United States would ultimately be against fan interest and could have detrimental consequences on the league.
News that La Liga had signed a 15-year agreement with sports and entertainment group Relevent to promote football in North America last month was largely greeted with hostility.
Captains from all 20 clubs including Sergio Ramos representing Real Madrid and Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets representing Barcelona vowed to fight any decision to play a game stateside and even threatened strike action after joining forces to display their objections to the plans last month.
Barcelona and Girona, alongside La Liga, formally submitted a request of permission to stage their scheduled match in Miami to the Spanish FA earlier this week, but are yet to receive a reply.
Presidents of both clubs, Josep Maria Bartomeu of Barcelona and Delfi Geli of Girona, both jointly-signed the letter alongside league chief Javier Tebas.
Girona are one of the few La Liga clubs openly backing the move and confirmed last week they were open to the proposal because they see a ‘great opportunity for expansion’ for the club and the city.
The game is scheduled to be played on January 26 at the Miami Hard Rock Stadium.
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