Report: Spanish government and federation aligned with FIFA in opposition to La Liga match in Miami

Marca reported on Wednesday that FIFA president Gianni Infantino met with Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez and Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales to discuss La Liga's plans to organize a league match between Girona and Barcelona in Miami on Jan. 26.

The Madrid-based sports daily reported that "the feeling was that it is not the right moment" to play the match in the United States.

The Spanish government views the match in strictly political terms -- a showcase for Catalan independence between two Catalan teams.

Just what were the motivations for the Spanish federation and FIFA to oppose the match are not entirely clear, but entering new territories for the organization of competitive club matches is a can of worms FIFA doesn't likely want to open.

The match is scheduled to be Girona's home game at the Estadio Montilivi (capacity: 13,500), and La Liga, Girona and Barcelona have formally asked to play at the Hard Rock Stadium. La Liga has offered to pay for 1,500 fans to travel to Miami for the game and compensate others who have paid for the game as part of their season ticket package.

"The submission has been made after successfully completing the first key steps with several stakeholders," La Liga said in a statement. "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, an association of fan clubs, has welcomed this compensation package."

The proposed game is part of La Liga's 15-year marketing agreement with Miami-based Relevent Sports, which organizes the International Champions Cup as well as other international friendlies around the world.
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