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.
La Liga came up with the idea earlier this month to play at least one regular league match overseas in America in order to promote the league. There was intense pushback specifically from the players. Sergio Ramos, captain of Real Madrid, was one of the most outspoken against the idea and many of the captains in the league got together to voice their displeasure about travelling across the world in the middle of the season.
But now, Girona and Barcelona have formally asked to play at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. The match is scheduled to be Girona’s home game at the Estadio Montilivi. 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 Catalonia based clubs are the center of a heated political situation in Spain right now, and the Spanish government said “the feeling was that it is not the right moment.” The Spanish government is viewing the match in a political sense, because it is a match between two sides from Catalonia. With the Catalans pushing for independence, they are wary about political demonstrations that could occur during the match.
The league itself is behind the match being played in Miami. ”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.”