La Liga’s hopes to have a regular-season game staged overseas every year has taken a major setback as the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has indicated it will not allow that proposal to happen.
The RFEF received a formal request from La Liga, Girona and Barcelona earlier this month detailing plans to move a game to suburban Miami on Jan. 26 as part of a 15-year agreement with Relevent Sports to market the league in North America.
It has not finalised its stance on the proposal, but on Friday, it sent different letters to La Liga, UEFA, FIFA and the two clubs.
“In the letter sent to FIFA, the RFEF has explained its intention not to authorise the game,” the organisation told ESPN FC.
Moreover, in the letter addressed to UEFA and FIFA, the RFEF requested the governing bodies share their recommendations regarding the implications of staging a La Liga game outside of Spain.
The RFEF notified La Liga it is consulting with both organisations regarding which rules could be infringed if a league game was to be played abroad. It also requested La Liga present documents to show it has the approval of the necessary organisations as well as of all top-flight clubs — not just Girona and Barcelona — and has demanded more information regarding the organisation of the game.
It also reminded La Liga that a change of venue would affect television contracts and club members and could see certain teams benefit while others would be affected.
La Liga need the support of the RFEF as well as Spain’s Sports Council, UEFA, CONCACAF and U.S. Soccer in order to move the game away from Girona’s Estadi Montilivi.
FIFA, according to La Liga president Javier Tebas, does not have a say on the matter, has already expressed reservations regarding the location change.
The RFEF’s stance comes just 24 hours after the Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) said it remains unconvinced that plans to hold a game in North America each year are in its best interest.
AFE insisted that La Liga had taken a unilateral decision without consulting the players and that their plans to play outside the country breached several articles of the collective agreement between the two entities.
Tebas told ESPN FC earlier this week that it would be hypocritical of the RFEF to turn down La Liga’s petition considering the Spanish Super Cup between Barcelona and Sevilla was played last month in Morocco.