LaLiga’s plan to stage some of the league games in the USA are running into more hurdles. Now, Spanish Football Association chief Luis Rubiales has asked the world governing body for football – FIFA – to halt the LaLiga move.
LaLiga has planned to start its US sojourn by holding the Girona and Barcelona January tie in Miami. The Spanish top division football league has a 15-year agreement in place with the Relevant Sports, promoted with funding from the NFL team Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, to promote the league in North America.
However, the LaLiga initiative is facing opposition from various stakeholders in the league. The Spanish Football Association is not happy with the “controversial” move. The Spanish FA President Rubiales is persuading FIFA to announce that the world body will obstruct the move at its Council Meet in Rwanda tomorrow (Friday).
Spanish FA is reportedly not happy for the fact that the LaLiga management has signed the Relevant Sports contract without taking key stakeholders like the national federation, the players union, UEFA and FIFA into confidence.
“Everything has started badly. First, we should have spoken with the institutions that have the capacity to decide, both internationally and nationally,” Rubiales has told Mundo Deportivo.
Rubiales is optimistic about a favourable outcome at the council meeting tomorrow (Friday). “Gianni Infantino (FIFA president) has been very clear with his views. The fixture is on the agenda on Friday. Within its statutes, FIFA has the capacity to intervene,” he says. “There’s not a single institution that needs to give it the OK that has said yes.”
LaLiga president Javier Tebas, however, still finds all the opposition unwarranted. “I’m still asking myself this, why so much resistance to a business strategy?” he has been reported as saying. “I think a lot of it is cultural. Cultural in that the bureaucracy that football has built is very different than the American sports leagues.”