La Liga Proposes Barcelona-Girona Match to Take Place in Miami

by Toqui Tahmid | Posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 | 0

According to ESPN FC, La Liga have officially put in a formal request to move Girona’s home league fixture against Barcelona to Hard Rock Stadium near Miami, Florida. The match is set to take place on January 26 of next year.

The request was signed by La Liga president Javier Tebas as well as Barcelona chief executive Josep Maria Bartomeu and Girona chief executive Delfi Geli. The controversial idea to move some La Liga fixtures to North America requires approval from the Royal Spanish Football Federation as well as other local organizations.
La Liga Proposes Barcelona-Girona
Because Girona will be the one losing a home fixture, potentially having to travel for a game at a neutral site will likely do little to negatively affect Barcelona’s hopes for a league title. Most safe betting sites still have the Blaugrana as the odds-on favorites to win the Spanish top flight for the second year running.

The Spanish government’s sports minister, Jose Guirao, recently said that the league has to make it a priority to expand the league’s interest overseas without alienating or conflicting with local fans. By submitting this formal request, it appears as though La Liga has made a little bit of progress on that front.

The proposal is part of La Liga’s deal with South Florida-based companyRelevant Sports in which the Spanish top flight will host several games per year in North America as a means of broadening the league’s exposure to a burgeoning fan base in the United States and Canada. The initial pact is a 15-year deal.

As a part of the deal, home fans will not be left holding the bag. Fans of the teams involved are reported to be compensated for missing out on a home game, while travel accommodations would be made for some season ticket holders.

Tebas recently said that as many as 1,500 home fans would be given the chance to travel free of charge to attend the games overseas. Financial compensation would be given to other fans that do not wish to travel all the way to North America.

La Liga issued a statement that said, & The submission has been made after successfully completing the first key steps with several stakeholders. One of the elements of the request is the compensation offered to Girona season-ticket holders, who have this fixture included in their season ticket. Aficiones Unidas (AFEPE), an association of fan clubs, has welcomed this compensation package.”

While the teams are eager to potentially expand their fan bases to North America, several players that play in the league were not happy with the deal. Earlier this summer, some prominent players even threatened to go on strike rather than to have to travel all the way across the Atlantic Ocean just to play a league fixture.

In an attempt to mend fences, La Liga reportedly met with the Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) on Monday in order to discuss the plan for the game near Miami. The players were reportedly unanimously against the idea, but they will also receive a detailed report from the league before making a final decision regarding how to approach the matter. In addition to approval from the Royal Spanish Football Federation, La Liga will also need to get a green light from CONCACAF, U.S. Soccer, UEFA and the Spanish government’s sports council.

Barcelona vice president Jordi Cardoner told the media on Tuesday, ” It has to be done with the blessing of all parties involved. The platform which playing a game in Miami offers us is interesting for football and for our club. But it has to be done with the blessing of everyone. I’m sure it’s a positive move for football.”

Girona season ticket holders that do not wish to travel to the United States will be offered free tickets to the away match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on September 23. They will also be offered 20 percent off of their season ticket price. Fans that choose against both options will get a 40 percent discount on their season tickets.

About the Author

This is Toqui Tahmid a webmaster and sports reporter at Tsmplug

TSM Plug