A Spanish judge has ruled against La Liga staging the clash between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid in Miami next month.
Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and La Liga had formally requested their December league game be played in Miami, while a similar request was made last year for Girona’s tie at home to Barcelona.
The meeting between the two is set to take place on matchday 16 of the current campaign with Atleti scheduled to visit the Yellow Submarine on 8 December.
Villarreal confirmed the news via a statement last month, following on from a report in Diario AS which highlighted that the presidents of both clubs said to be among the closest to La Liga chief Javier Tebas.
Earlier this week, Real Madrid cited their formal opposition to any plans, as cited by Cadena Cope, that the request shows “a lack of foresight or a premeditated action based on interests totally foreign to sports.”
This ruling is specific solely to this specific match in December, although an official ruling on La Liga playing a game in the United States whatsoever is not expected until February.
The Spanish FA are opposed to the move as they believe it is for economic reasons rather than sporting ones, but they have backed the Spanish Supercopa in Saudi Arabia – which clouds the position.
The argument used by the league and those in favour at the respective clubs is that the teams and the competition will be able to enhance their international branding with such a scheme.
Charter flights to Miami for fans is said to be one of the main elements being considered for the proposal, while Villarreal would be compensated by the loss of a home game by a bigger allocation for their away match at Atleti later in the campaign.
“I hope this time comes to fruition, we are starting to see if Villarreal-Atleti can be played in Miami,” Villarreal president Fernando Roig confirmed on Onda Cero last month.
“Both Atleti and have agreed to play it in Miami, but for me I would like for this to have everyone's consensus.”
Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angil Gil added: “We work every season to expand and promote our brand in all continents and the match in the United States would allow us to continue working on it.
“In addition, we would bring Spanish football to fans and supporters who live outside our country. It would be a great game that would mark the future.”
La Liga president Tebas added: “This match would be another boost to La Liga's internationalization strategy, which is giving such good results among all the clubs.
“We hope that this time we can carry out this positive action for everyone, as other leagues like the NFL or the NBA do outside their borders.”
In theory, the game would be played at the Hard Rock Stadium, a ground that has hosted five Super Bowl finals.
La Liga unsuccessfully tried to stage Girona against Barcelona in the stadium last year, in a move which drew plenty of controversy.