LaLiga US expansion plans, continuously reeling under myriads of controversy and opposition, have yet again added another block before seeing the light of the day.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is the latest person to join the likes of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Spanish FA head Luis Rubiales on the list of strongmen to show dissent and rebuff the plans of staging LaLiga fixtures in US.
Perez has said that the move will not benefit clubs or supporters. “We won’t go to the United States. I don’t know whose interest it is in to play there but it is not in the interests of the clubs or the supporters, so we outright reject it,” the chief of Spanish football giants told a club members’ forum.
Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has also rejected the proposal for staging the Barcelona versus Girona tie that was slated by Spanish top-flight football league body for January 26, 2019, at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
However, LaLiga chief Javier Tebas, who has reportedly taken a defiant stance, said that he was optimistic that fixture will still happen. “Obviously (the Spanish FA) aren’t excited about (a match in Miami),” he told reporters. “They are not saying no, they are just requesting more information. I have been talking about this for some time now, so I am optimistic.”
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.
The plans, for now, remain in limbo as various stakeholders associated with the development have opposed the move with bitter criticism.