Football: Real Madrid outline opposition to LaLiga's Miami game in letter to Spanish association

File photo showing a fan holding a Real Madrid flag at an event, on Aug 15, 2018.
File photo showing a fan holding a Real Madrid flag at an event, on Aug 15, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Real Madrid have written to Spain's football federation outlining their opposition to LaLiga's plans to stage a match between Girona and Barcelona in Miami, delivering another blow to the league's hopes of playing one game a season in the United States.

A spokesman for the federation confirmed to Reuters that it had received the letter, which was widely quoted by the local media on Wednesday (Oct 17).

The Miami match, pencilled in for Jan 26, would be the first game to take place as part of a 15-year deal struck between LaLiga and entertainment company Relevent.

"First of all we would like to declare that Real Madrid were neither informed that LaLiga had requested to play the game nor of the intention to make the request, and we were never asked our opinion on it," Real said in the letter, signed by the club's director-general Jose Angel Sanchez.

"Nor, obviously, did LaLiga obtain Real Madrid's agreement, despite the fact that this game affects a competition in which we participate."

A spokesman for LaLiga reiterated on Wednesday that no club would be forced to play in the US and that it was entirely voluntary.

The federation has told La Liga that it cannot approve the proposal, which also requires the green light from Uefa, Concacaf and the US soccer federation, until it receives more information.

Federation president Luis Rubiales has expressed his opposition to the move, while the Spanish footballers' union has also protested against the plans.

Real president Florentino Perez has spoken out against it, while the club's coach Julen Lopetegui has said: "every team (in the league) should play at every ground".

Real's letter addressed the same concerns.

"We cannot forget that the national league is a competition in which 20 teams participate, not two, and that it is fundamental that every team plays each other twice, home and away and at each stadium, as that guarantees the integrity and the equality of the competition," it said.

"As a consequence, Real Madrid manifests its opposition to the request made to play the game at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami as it affects the integrity and equality of the competition."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas told Reuters earlier this month there were many things that could threaten the integrity of a competition but the Miami game, which was supposed to be a home game for Girona, was not one of them.

"In a World Cup a team playing a ... semi-final on Tuesday has a greater advantage in the final than the team playing on Wednesday," Tebas said.

"Teams have also played at other stadiums while their grounds are being renovated or in order to generate more revenue. If we really believe in this sporting puritanism then we would need to make many changes in football."