?The La Liga match between Girona and Barcelona may not take place in Miami after all, following talks between football bosses and the Spanish government.
Girona, ?Barcelona and La Liga ?sought formal permission from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to stage their match in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on January 26, as part of the La Liga North America deal struck between the league and media company Relevent.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and RFEF boss Luis Rubiales to express his concerns about holding a match between two Catalan teams in a foreign country.
Sanchez fears that the match would become a publicity stunt for the Catalan independence movement, which has seen a resurgence since last year’s referendum result was rejected by the Spanish government.
One million protesters gathered in the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday to rally for Catalan independence, showing that this is still a hot button issue.
Rubiales is more concerned that moving a match to the United States could backfire on the league, and would not be in the best interests of supporters. The position of FIFA is that business should not be valued ahead of football on this matter.