MADRID: The Spanish league has launched a petition to try to gain support at home for its embattled project to stage a league game this season between Giron and Barcelona in Miami.
The match would be the first in a 15-year deal with entertainment company Relevent to play one game in the U.S. every year.
But last week the governing council of world federation FIFA, asked for a verdict by the Spanish and US federations, prohibited both the game and the concept.
A LaLiga statement said: “This national grassroots campaign will highlight the growing popularity of soccer in America and the desire from American fans to bring the greatest soccer league in the world to the U.S. to play the first ever European club regular season match held outside of Europe.
“La Liga is planning on bringing a regular season match to America for the first time ever — but we need your help to make this event happen.
“Some of the key decision makers are falsely claiming it won’t be good for the game in the U.S. So we, the fans, need to fight for this match by telling them: It’s good for the fans. It’s good for the game. Are you in? The more support we have, the harder we’ll be to ignore.”
The Spanish league has said it will complain to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Stephen Ross, chairman and owner of Relevent, said that playing a Spanish top-flight game in the U.S. would accelerate the growth of football in the country.
He added: “All of America’s top sports leagues — The NBA, The NFL, and MLB — have played regular season games all over the world to reach international fans and have great success popularising these sports globally.
“We firmly believe this will have the same impact in increasing the popularity of soccer here in the U.S., with more kids playing and more fans watching.”