La Liga players threaten strike on US

La Liga players have stated their formal unanimous opposition to playing a league match in the United States and will not rule out a strike.

Players representing each of the 20 La Liga squads reconvened at the Spanish Association of Footballers (AFE) to voice their disapproval at the plans, which were announced last week.

Neither the AFE, the league’s clubs nor the Spanish FA were consulted by La Liga before they penned a 15-year agreement with US company Relevent.

Led by Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke and Joaquin of Real Betis, the players stated their stance on the controversial issue.

The players and the AFE will also raise concerns over the late kick-off times of league matches, with many running past midnight local time.

“The players are outraged, very surprised, and are all against it. It's unanimous,” Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE) president David Aganzo (pictured) told reporters, in quotes carried by ESPN FC.

“The players don't want to play overseas. Things have to be done in a more coherent way and with common sense.

“A decision of this magnitude, that affects players, referees and fans, was taken unilaterally and is a lack of respect.

“I have information that there are certain clubs that are in favour and others against this (strike action), but I represent the players.

“We need to sort this out with the union, and we will tell them all of our problems. If, from then on and after a few days, they don't answer, then we will have to solve the situation.

“We are going to try to see that it doesn't reach that extreme [of a strike]. But we are willing to go right to the last option if it is necessary.”

The late commencement of these games has been cited as a fundamental reason for low crowds, while the growth of Friday and Monday night football is also being challenged.

The AFE have a meeting with La Liga scheduled for next month and the league are yet to comment on the latest developments.

Tags David Aganzo