La Liga chief Javier Tebas hits out at FIFA plan to stop league games abroad

La Liga president Javier Tebas has hit out at a recommendation from FIFA Stakeholders Committee to prevent league games being played abroad.

The recommendation appears to be a direct response to efforts by American sports promoter Relevent Sports to hold matches from the Spanish top-flight in the United States.

In theory, La Liga’s games would have been 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, and made similarly unsuccessful attempts to play Villarreal’s clash against Atletico de Madrid in December in the US.

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.

“This is a step back in promoting football worldwide,” La Liga president Javier Tebas said in an email about the committee’s recommendation, as cited by ESPN.

“Fans from all over the world deserve to be able to enjoy the leagues they love wherever they are. Leagues should have the freedom to bring their matches closer to their fans, just as the big American leagues have done for many years, led by [MLS commissioner] Don Garber himself in the case of the NFL. We believe this is our right and we will continue to fight for it.”

A host of other bodies were opposed to the plans by La Liga, including the Spanish FA and AFE – the player’s union.

Tags Javier Tebas Miami Relevent Sports