Barcelona withdraw from proposed Miami-based Girona clash

Spanish champions Barcelona have this evening confirmed that they have pulled out of their planned La Liga clash versus Girona, due to take place in Miami next month.

La Liga expanding

In a groundbreaking announcement back in August, it was confirmed that La Liga’s chiefs had reached a partnership agreement with US company Relevent Sports, which would see one Spanish top-flight game per season played out in either the United States or Canada for the next 15 years.

Relevent are the organisers of the annual pre-season International Champions Cup.

According to La Liga president Javier Tebas, the move came as part of La Liga’s plans to ‘grow the passion for soccer around the world’:

‘This ground-breaking agreement is certain to give a major impulse to the popularity of the beautiful game in the U.S. and Canada. Relevent has filled stadiums across the U.S. with the International Champions Cup. We’re thrilled to partner with them on a joint mission to grow soccer in North America.’

Girona vs Barcelona

And, in a subsequent announcement in September, the first official La Liga fixture set to take place Stateside was confirmed.

The two clubs due to face off were Girona and Barcelona.

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Girona

Girona, as per the agreement, would act as hosts for the clash, giving up their home fixture versus the Blaugrana.

The matchup was set to take place on January 27th at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

‘Lack of consensus’

However, as per an announcement from Barcelona tonight, the momentous occasion now looks to be in danger of falling through.

A meeting between the Blaugrana’s Board of Directors earlier today saw the decision made that, under current stipulations, the project ‘would not prosper’, with Barca, as a result, having ‘agreed to withdraw their disposal to play the game’.

However, tellingly, it was also added that the Catalans ‘remain willing to play a La Liga game in Miami’.

As per Barcelona’s official website:

‘The FC Barcelona Board of Directors have agreed to withdraw their disposal to play their game against Girona FC in Miami, after noting a lack of consensus over this proposal. FC Barcelona were and remain willing to play a La Liga game in Miami, and accepted that income from the game would be shared amongst all Primera División and Segunda División clubs, following the same criteria of television rights money distribution, but consider that this project will not prosper until there is an agreement between all parties.’

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