MADRID: Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish league, has not given up on the plan to airlift a LaLiga game to the United States despite the first attempt fizzling out.
Spanish champions Barcelona, who had been hoping to play Girona in Miami in January, decided to pull out “after seeing the lack of consensus surrounding the proposal.”
The governing council of world federation FIFA prohibited the game at its last meeting. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that position remains unchanged despite the European staging at the weekend of the South American Copa Libertadores final in Madrid.
Tebas said: “I don’t see Barca’s decision as a betrayal. Of course I’d have liked to have played on Jan. 26 but I have to congratulate the clubs for allowing us to get to this point as it will help us in the future. The demand to play a game outside of Spain is still there.”
A statement from LaLiga said: “We regret to disappoint our fans in the U.S. and will work to, in the shortest possible time, stage an official La Liga game in the U.S., just like the major American leagues stage games outside their borders.
“La Liga will continue the planned action, so an official league game can be played outside of Spain. La Liga is convinced that the Spanish federation is not acting in accordance with the law.”
The league also said Barca’s withdrawal did not affect its 15-year agreement with entertainment firm Relevent to promote Spanish football in North America.