Barca and Girona ready to rock and roll in Miami

MADRID • Barcelona and Girona have both signed a request for their LaLiga fixture in January to be played in the United States.

The formal request was submitted by LaLiga 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 for permission that the game, originally scheduled as a "home" match for Girona at the Estadi Montilivi, be played at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium on Jan 26.

LaLiga said on Tuesday that the match is part of a long-term project "targeted at promoting football in the US and Canada".

A Spanish league statement added that a "compensation package" on offer had been "welcomed" by Aficiones Unidas, an association of club fan groups in the country.

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 Nou Camp on Sept 23.

As well as the RFEF, LaLiga 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.

As part of a 15-year agreement struck with American media company Relevent, one LaLiga game per season is to be held in the US.

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

After a meeting with league officials in Madrid on Monday, Afe said it had "conveyed the discomfort of the players due to a lack of information about the agreement".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'Barca and Girona ready to rock and roll in Miami'. Print Edition | Subscribe