La Liga in USA: FIFA inflicted a big blow to La Liga’s plans to stage a league fixture in the United States.
Earlier in the season, La Liga struck a partnership with US sports and entertainment company, ‘Relevent,’ which includes a plan to play at least one match at a venue in US & Canada every season.
According to Sport, Girona was pinned to play their home game against Barcelona in the United States on January 27. The report suggested that the match was scheduled to play at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, which serves as the home ground for MLS football side Miami Dolphins.
However, football’s governing body FIFA has now struck a huge blow to La Liga’s plans of extending their viewership abroad.
FIFA has ruled out a possibility of staging the La Liga game in the United States, insisting that league games must be played inside the constituency’s country.
La Liga in US:
FIFA has made it clear that league games ‘must be played’ inside the country, thus providing a setback to Javier Tebas’ plans of becoming the first European league to host a top-flight game outside the continent.
“I’m strongly opposed to this and I deny any permit to play the Girona against Barca game in Miami,” Infantino said.
BREAKING: FIFA formally rule out possibility of playing La Liga matches in the United States: “Official games of a league must be played inside the constituency country.” https://t.co/4kg8QPB42G pic.twitter.com/IiJocodR36
— footballespana (@footballespana_) October 26, 2018
“Official games of a league must be played inside the constituency country, the Council is very clear on this,” the FIFA President added.
Earlier, Charlie Stillitano, the executive chairman of Relevent, had stated that the ’15-year deal with La Liga’ could be a major step towards promoting Spanish football in the country.
BREAKING: @FIFAcom president Gianni Infantino says he will not allow La Liga games to be played outside of Spain.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 26, 2018
“It’s a 15-year deal but we want to start building the brand now, and the best way for the American people to realise that La Liga is probably the best football league in the world in terms of quality soccer is with a regular season match,” said Stillitano.
La Liga’s international development director Oscar Mayo, meanwhile, termed the partnership with Relevant as a major milestone in the league’s international expansion strategy.
RT cnnsport “RT CNNFC: FIFA stance on proposed La Liga match in the US … “the Council emphasized the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association.” pic.twitter.com/3QcHMA8nUw“
— antoninotrapani (@trapnino) October 27, 2018
As things stand, the United States will not be hosting a La Liga game this season.
The Spanish top-flight has been relatively close so far, as Barcelona are only a point ahead of second-placed Deportivo Alaves. The traditional league giants have been underwhelming in the season so far, as Atletico Madrid are 5th, whereas Real Madrid are 7th in the league.