La Liga’s plans for competitive match in the USA suffer another setback

FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is against leagues playing competitive games abroad.

Spain’s La Liga wants to play at least one regular-season game a year in North America.

Taking such matches overseas is also an idea long considered by Premier League clubs.

La Liga and partner sports group Relevent hope the first of its ‘away days’ will be Girona’s ‘home game’ against Barcelona in Miami on January 26, but the plan has provoked controversy.


The Spanish players’ union said it had not been consulted, and now Infantino has added his voice.

He said: “I would prefer to see a great Major League Soccer game in the US rather than La Liga being in the US. In football, the general principle is that you play a ‘home’ match at ‘home’, not in a foreign country.”

For the match to happen, La Liga needs approval from the Spanish and US football federations, the Spanish sports ministry, European federation UEFA, its North and Central American counterpart CONCACAF and world governing body FIFA.

Talks are ongoing with the players, and La Liga has moved to address some of the concerns raised in Spain about compensating season ticket-holders and subsidising fans who want to travel to the game. But there has been no real progress on gaining approval from the the American, European and global authorities.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has already hit back at Infantino via Twitter , pointing out that while Canada has its own league there are three Canadian teams in MLS — with Toronto its current champions.

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