La Liga loses court appeal on US match, but vows to keep fighting

La Liga has lost a court appeal against the Spanish FA’s decision to block league games being played in the United States but have vowed to keep pushing for the move.

A host of other bodies were opposed to the plans by La Liga, including FIFA, UEFA and AFE – the player’s union in Spain.

The Spanish FA prevented the league’s plans for exporting La Liga matches to North America, while last week a FIFA Stakeholders Committee made recommendations 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.

“We respect but do not share the decision of the court…and will appeal,” read a La Liga statement in response to the ruling.

“La Liga accepts its competition must be coordinated with the Spanish FA, but that can’t be based on arbitrary decisions and against the competitive market.”