The Spanish football federation has reportedly rejected La Liga’s request for Barcelona’s game against Girona to be played in Miami.
‘A letter was sent to La Liga this morning in which it denies the game request because it does not comply with the international rules’, a source from the federation told Reuters.
According to FIFA’s statutes, any domestic competition played outside the league’s usual home must be approved by the home federation, UEFA, the federation where the game is taking place and the regional confederation – in this case the United States Soccer Federation and CONCACAF.
As part of a 15-year deal signed with entertainment and sports group Relevent in August, the Spanish top flight wants to play at least one regular-season game a year in North America.
La Liga and Relevent hoped that the first of those would be Girona’s ‘home’ game against Barcelona in Miami on January 26, but the plan has provoked controversy ever since it first emerged.
La Liga had not received the necessary approvals from the Spanish and US football federations, and the refusal of the national organisation to allow it could end the league’s hopes of playing games in America.
Another major obstacle is the fact that FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed in an interview that he is not keen on the idea.
‘I think I would prefer to see a great MLS game in the US rather than La Liga being in the US,’ he said.
‘In football, the general principle is that you play a home match at home, and not in a foreign country.’