LaLiga’s US expansion plans, still afloat in the air of scepticism, have yet again faced a stumbling block. Now the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Spanish federation chief Luis Rubiales, who met in Madrid to discuss the initiative among other matters have rejected the idea of staging LaLiga fixtures in the USA and Canada for different reasons.
This comes a day after LaLiga, Barcelona and Girona, have applied to seek permission from Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to stage the matchday 21 fixture between the two clubs, scheduled to be played on 26 January, at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
While the Spanish government fear that a match between two Catalan teams could be used as a publicity stunt for the region’s independence movement, the Spanish FA feel an overseas league match is not in the fans’ best interest.
FIFA, on the other hand, feels that it does not want to business ahead of the sport. Infantino had earlier said in a statement that he would rather prefer the promotion of football in US via Major League Soccer (MLS) instead of Spanish top tier matches.
LaLiga, which hopes to stage one game per season in North America as part of a 15-year deal with Relevent Sports signed last month, also needs approval from the UEFA, CONCACAF, Spanish sports council, and the US Soccer Federation.