Barca and Girona support La Liga request for match in Miami

The formal request was submitted by La Liga to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Monday, with the support of both Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu (pic) and Girona president Delfi Geli. — Reuters pic
The formal request was submitted by La Liga to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Monday, with the support of both Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu (pic) and Girona president Delfi Geli. — Reuters pic

MADRID, Sept 12 ― Barcelona and Girona have both signed a request for their La Liga fixture in January to be played in Miami.

The formal request was submitted by La Liga to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Monday, with the support of both Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Girona president Delfi Geli.

The proposal asks permission that the game, originally scheduled as a home match for Girona at their Estadi Montilivi, be played at Hard Rock Stadium on January 26.

A La Liga statement yesterday also said a “compensation package” on offer has been “welcomed” by “Aficiones Unidas”, an association of club fan groups in Spain.

The package is believed to include free flights for up to 1,500 Girona fans, as well as 5,000 tickets for the reverse fixture at the Camp Nou later this month.

As well as the RFEF, La Liga is likely to seek permission from the Spanish sports council and US Soccer Federation, as well as Uefa and Concacaf, the governing bodies in charge of European and North American football respectively. 

La Liga is discussing playing one game per season in the United States as part of a 15-year agreement struck with the media company Relevent.

The idea has proven controversial, with RFEF president Luis Rubiales voicing opposition while the Spanish players' association (AFE) has maintained that players will have the final say.

After a meeting with La Liga in Madrid on Monday, AFE said it had “conveyed the discomfort of the players due to a lack of information about the agreement to play a league match in the United States”.

The offer was accepted by Girona, who said in a statement last week: “It is a great opportunity to expand and grow, not only for the club but also for our city and our territory.”

La Liga added yesterday that the match is part of a long-term projected, “targeted at promoting football in the United States and Canada”. ― AFP

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