The hidden side of politics

Spanish soccer league reportedly picks its first match to be played in the US — and it involves Barcelona

Reported by CNBC: 

The first top-division Spanish soccer game to be played in America will involve Barcelona against fellow Catalan side Girona, according to media reports.

Last month, Spain’s La Liga signed a 15-year deal with sports entertainment group Relevent, which is a company under the ownership of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, but has since faced criticism from the Spanish Footballers Union over the plans.

The game was originally scheduled to be a home fixture for Girona, but now the league is having to make substantial financial and travel concessions for fans, whether they plan on making the trip or not. According to Catalan Sport Daily, there will be free flights for around 1,500 Girona supporters, with hotel rooms to stay at discounted rates.

The Barcelona-based newspaper Sport suggests Girona stands to make 4 million euros ($4.6 million) from the game, with La Liga aiming to secure a more long-term as part of the deal.

Meanwhile, fans of German football don’t have to worry about any sort of trans-Atlantic Bundesliga fixture coming their way anytime soon, after league boss Christian Seifert ruled out any chance of following La Liga’s example by staging matches abroad. Seifert, the Bundesliga’s chief executive, said it would be a “lack of respect” to take games to places such as the United States.

“We will never play a league game outside Germany.” Seifert told reporters at an event in Frankfurt. “That’s a line we will not cross.”

A spokesperson for La Liga was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Read the full report on the Sport website here.