LaLiga: Barcelona will play a league fixture in America this season - reports
What's the story?
LaLiga executives have already decided the fixture and date of the league's very first overseas match. According to reports in AS, the matchday 21 clash between Girona and Barcelona will take place in one of the southern states in America in January 2019.
In case you didn't know...
LaLiga made history this summer by signing a deal with Facebook to live stream all matches across the Indian subcontinent for free. Shortly after the historic streaming agreement with the social media giant was announced, the Spanish top flight broke the news of a sponsorship deal which would take competitive games out of Spain and play them in the United States.
The backlash from the announcement has been unified with captains of all LaLiga clubs meeting to show to their unwillingness to play competitive league games outside of the country. However, their protests have fallen on deaf ears so far and the league's executives are pushing ahead to play at least one game per season in America.
The heart of the matter
LaLiga's chief executive, Javier Tebas has submitted a proposal to Girona requesting that their home fixture against Barcelona is moved to the United States. Tebas believes the move would benefit Girona as the capacity of any potential stadium in America would far exceed that of the modest Estadi Montilivi, creating more revenue for the small Catalan club.
Girona is expected to respond to the proposal within a few days after which the exact venue for the clash could be selected. The fixture sits between two legs of the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals and is viewed as the ideal time to take a league fixture across the Atlantic as opposed to the March 17th clash between Real Betis and Barcelona which was also considered.
The response of players across LaLiga to any idea of playing fixtures abroad makes it a difficult task to try and get a competitive game across the Atlantic so soon. However, as we have seen before in football, money talks, and if there is enough incentive involved for both Girona and Barcelona, the players may have no option but to play in the United States.
A meeting between LaLiga and AFE is due to take place in the coming weeks which could iron out any concerns raised by players and leave the path open for this and more fixtures to be played on US soil.