The Spanish football players’ union (AFE) on Monday maintained its position against holding a La Liga match between Barcelona and Girona in the United States in January next year.
AFE president David Aganzo made the announcement after a meeting with La Liga chairman Javier Tebas to discuss the matter, and they are expected to meet again next week, reports EFE news agency.
“We will analyze the information that La Liga provides us, and in case we do not reach an agreement, then we will continue our process,” Aganzo said after leaving the meeting, adding “Javier and I have different perspectives.”
The union president said that his priority is making games easily accessible to fans and not about giving undue influence to broadcasting rights and other countries.
In August, the top Spanish league announced the creation of La Liga North America, on a 15-year deal in cooperation with the multinational media company Relevent, to promote soccer in the US and Canada, including playing a competitive La Liga game in the United States – the first played outside Europe.
Following this announcement, the AFE held a meeting on Aug 22 with all of the La Liga teams’ captains, who rejected the proposal.
Girona, however, recently announced it was willing to play next year’s home derby against rival Catalonian club Barcelona in the US.
Holding a Spanish league match abroad needs the approval of the players, the Spanish soccer federation and the UEFA, as well as from the North American governing soccer body CONCACAF, since one of its members will be the host.
During Monday’s meeting, LaLiga also proposed a 15-day tour for 25 players, without clubs, to Miami and New York, including four matches with US teams and meetings with North American professional clubs, according to documents EFE had access to.
The offer, which has no exact dates yet, includes daily training sessions in professional sports facilities, English language classes, visits to the facilities of the US Major League Soccer and tourism activities, as well as accommodation and transportation.
The offer had already been handed to AFE, sources from the players’ union told EFE, and will be studied before giving a response.