La Liga, media company 'optimistic' U.S. match will go ahead

La Liga and media company Relevent remain optimistic that a league match will be staged in the United States this season, with the former's president stating there is a 90 percent chance it will be a game between Girona and Barcelona in Miami, as reported by Guardian sport and Reuters.

The proposal, which stems from a 15-year deal between the Spanish top flight and Relevent, has been met with widespread criticism. Despite plans to subsidize travel and accommodation for fans, there is still anger from supporters over Girona - playing only their second season in La Liga - effectively losing a home match against their huge local rivals. The league's players have also not ruled out strike action after declaring they are unanimously against the initiative.

"I'm not certain but I'm optimistic," Charlie Stillitano, Relevent's executive chairman, told ESPN FC's Adriana Garcia of the match understood to be set for Jan. 27, 2019. "We have every desire to do it and La Liga has given us every indication that they want to do it. We are trying to be respectful to everyone involved. We're confident that it can happen and we are just taking a wait-and-see attitude because they have to get all the permissions from the league side first before we can do anything."

La Liga president Javier Tebas is confident that he will see La Liga in the States over the 2018-19 campaign, but is preparing for a showdown with David Aganzo, president of the Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE), next week.

"We know it's a complicated issue but we are working so that it can materialize and I think it will be done," he told Onda Cero radio, with translation from Garcia. "The AFE agreement will not be achieved via a financial compensation."

He added that he sees no reason for La Liga footballers to strike given that the wage control he has implemented during his tenure has seen salaries rise by 66 percent. However, there are still significant logistical factors that La Liga needs to sort out before staging a fixture outside of Spain, suggesting Tebas' disclosure of the agreement with Relevent last month may have been premature.

"We have to ask permission to the Spanish FA (RFEF), UEFA, U.S. Soccer, CONCACAF, and the (Spanish sports council)," he explained. "We first want to sort out the issue of fans and players. Once that is done, we will start asking for those permits, including that of the RFEF. I'm hoping they will not raise objections. I want to speak to (president Luis) Rubiales on Tuesday or Wednesday."

Tebas insisted "many La Liga teams have offered to play in the United States" after recognizing "an important opportunity" of showcasing themselves in the North American market.

La Liga, media company 'optimistic' U.S. match will go ahead
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