In a bid to generate more revenue and recognition for the Spanish league, LaLiga chief Javier Tebas signed a 15 year deal with US company Relevent to play one match per season in North America.
The news was met with negative reactions with the captains of the 20 LaLiga teams voicing discontents. Even though Tebas has confirmed that the first match will be Girona against Barcelona, the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) has gone against it.
A meeting between LaLiga chief Javier Tebas and David Aganzo, the president of the Association of Spanish Footballers has ended in dispute with both parties not coming to an agreement.
After the meeting, Aganzo said, that there is “20 percent chance” of the official fixture, which corresponds to week 21 of the Primera División fixture list, being played in the USA on January 26.
“We have spoken about the matter and with the information we currently have available, the players cannot go to the United States,” Aganzo said.
“We lack all types of information regarding the financial side of things, health issues and timetables for when the players would be expected to join up with their teams. We want a report that lays out exactly what is being proposed to pass on to our colleagues.
The AFE had blasted LaLiga for taking such decision, and in their initial protest the body said “As per usual, LaLiga has dispensed with the opinions of the players and has undertaken actions that only benefit them, regardless of the health or risks to the players,
“And even less the feelings of the following masses of the clubs who are being “forced” to compete in North America once a season,” it added
The above statement was reiterated by Aganzo who added that “The players are human beings, the fixture list changes and working conditions as laid out in Articles 8 and 9 of the collective bargaining agreement would have to be modified. We need to ensure that the conditions [for the USA fixture] are adequate.
“As things stand there is a 20 percent chance that the game will be played in Miami. The players are the principle actors in this sport and they are not in agreement with the way this has been handled. he added
“The fans also have to give their approval and there are several organisations who have to decide on the matter.”
Aganzo also backed the players decision to shut down the league and go on a strike
“It’s another tool that we have. Until we have sufficient information in our hands there will be no game in Miami and we will not rule out going on strike.” he said
Tebas: The Game Will Go Ahead
While Aganzo has stated the match is likely not go on, Tebas, on the other hand, gave a different response.
Speaking to reporters, the LaLiga chief said, “We will make sure this game is played, we have been working on it and there is no reason not to play the game in the USA.
“We have received no obstruction from the Spanish Football Federation, Uefa or Concacaf. Fifa has no say in the matter.
“The AFE said that the information required is insufficient and we have agreed to provide in writing everything they need to form their opinion. We have promised to send all this information by tomorrow morning.”
Tebas also added that although the LFP had requested a meeting with the RFEF, the federation has yet to reply.
The match which is scheduled for January 27, should it be decided to proceed will not be problem free as Girona and Barcelona could well feature in the last eight and the cup games on January 23 and 30. This tight fixtures coupled with travel plans might have dire consequences on the players.