Zurich, The FIFA Council on Friday sided with the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) and the Spanish football Federation (RFEF) to decide that the upcoming La Liga clash pitting Girona against Barcelona should be played in Spain, not in the United States, which goes against an agreement made between La Liga and a US sponsor.
La Liga, Barcelona and Girona on September 11 asked the RFEF for authorization to play the Matchday 21 clash in Miami, as part of a 15-year accord the La Liga reached with Relevant – a sports and media marketing company based in the US. However, the request was opposed by the AFE and rejected by the RFEF, reports Efe.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the FIFA council – on the request of RFEF and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) – addressed and reached a clear ruling on the conflict between RFEF-AFE and La Liga, Barcelona and Girona during FIFA’s meeting held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
“The FIFA Council has discussed the matter and we maintain that official matches from national leagues must be played in that country,” Infantino said at a press conference following the meeting.
According to FIFA’s statutes, the sport’s international governing body has the power to make a final decision on whether to authorize a match.
La Liga president Javier Tebas on Thursday said that the issue ought to be settled in court.
“The Spanish Super Cup was played in Tangier (Morocco), in spite of being played with Sevilla’s opposition, (so) how could such a match not be played (in Miami), especially if both participant teams want the game to be played?” Tebas added.