Barcelona Withdraw Proposal for La Liga Match in Miami Against Girona

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 04:  The Barcelona logo is seen on a flag waving above the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between FC Barcelona and AS Roma at Camp Nou on April 4, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Barcelona have withdrawn from La Liga's planned January fixture in Miami against Girona, citing a lack of agreement but leaving the door open to future participation. 

The club released a statement on their official website:

"The FC Barcelona Board of Directors have agreed to withdraw their disposal to play their game against Girona FC in Miami, after noting a lack of consensus over this proposal.

"FC Barcelona were and remain willing to play a LaLiga game in Miami, and accepted that income from the game would be shared amongst all Primera Division and Segunda Division clubs, following the same criteria of television rights money distribution, but consider that this project will not prosper until there is an agreement between all parties."

Joan Monfort/Associated Press

The Catalans were supposed to face Girona in Miami on January 27 in the first ever official La Liga fixture to be played outside of Spain. The proposal met fierce opposition, however, including from rivals Real Madrid, per Cadena Ser (h/t AS).

As reported by Football Espana the Spanish Footballers' Association has also voiced its opposition, and even FIFA President Gianni Infantino is against the idea, per ESPN's Adriana Garcia.

All those factors meant speculation about the match had gone mostly quiet in recent weeks and Barcelona's withdrawal could signal the final nail on the coffin for this season's fixture.

Sportswriter Sid Lowe noted Barcelona haven't changed their mind, but they're backing out due to a lack of agreement less than two months before the match is scheduled to take place:

As reported by ASJoaquin Maroto La Liga President Javier Tebas has signed a 15-year deal with Relevent Sports to play La Liga matches in the United States, so Barcelona's statement likely won't be the end of those plans.

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 17:  Javier Tebas attends 'Six Dreams' premiere at Capitol Cinema on July 17, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)
Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

Tebas may have to look for another team to play Girona in January, although it will be impossible to adequately replace Barcelona, one of the two most popular sides in his league. Real have already made it clear they are not in favour of the plan.

Alternatively, La Liga could find an agreement in the near future that would see Barcelona agree to play the match, or the fixture could be scratched and moved back to Girona.

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