Spanish Federation president Luis Rubiales slams La Liga for trying to 'invade' USA

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Not a fan: Luis Manuel Rubiales

Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has described LaLiga plans to stage a game in America next January as “an invasion of that country”.

Girona said on Thursday they were “working with the league and Barcelona” about what is thought to be a match in Miami on January 27.

Last month, the Spanish players’ union (AFE) held a meeting with a host of top stars, including Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets, and afterwards said it was unanimously against a proposal to place games outside of Spain.

LaLiga has agreed a 15-year deal with US media company Relevent to promote football in North America.

But Rubiales has hit out at LaLiga president Javier Tebas with comments that will turn up the heat on the controversial plans.

“Javier Tebas spoke to everyone except the people he had to speak to,” Rubiales told The Guardian. “It’s a total lack of respect, unfaithful and incomprehensible.

“This president demands a lot from others when his own behaviour, frankly, leaves a lot to be desired. We’ve not had even a single call.

“I haven’t seen the contract, so I can’t say much, but I will say this: the Fifa president protects domestic competition, and taking competition somewhere else represents an invasion of that country.

“He (Tebas) has totally ignored the players and even the clubs, signing a contract with a private country for 10 or 15 years. His behaviour was terrible.

Not a fan either: Rivaldo

Not a fan either: Rivaldo

“He has signed an agreement that it is not up to him to sign. What he has signed is worthless. It means nothing without our authorisation, so we will see what happens to this game.”

Former Barcelona star Rivaldo, meanwhile, has criticised moves to take the game abroad.

Ex-Brazil international Rivaldo, who made more than 150 appearances during a trophy-laden five-year spell at Barcelona, said: “In my opinion, the decision to play LaLiga matches in the USA is already a serious issue that raises lot of questions.

“I think that taking games to the US is wrong and seriously damages Spanish fans and players. Most of the fans won’t be able to attend the game.”

Rivaldo, also pointed towards Spanish football’s domestic season scheduling as another problem emanating from the proposal.

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What time does the first Clasico of 2018/19 La Liga season kick off?

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The first Clasico of the 2018/19 La Liga season will be played on Sunday, October 28, with Barcelona hosting Real Madrid in one of football’s most iconic clashes.

La Liga has confirmed the game will kick off at 16:15 CET (19:15 UAE) as LFP president Javier Tebas confirmed to Jose Ramon de la Morena on Onda Cero radio show El Transistor.

In the week beforehand both teams have Champions League games – with Los Blancos hosting Czech side Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday and Barca welcoming Inter Milan to the Camp Nou the following evening – so Sunday was the obvious choice of day to play.

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La Liga sidesteps reports over Barcelona game in the United States

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La Liga clubs are opposed to playing a league game in the US.

La Liga is refusing to confirm reports that Barcelona‘s scheduled derby meeting with Girona in January will be the competition’s first match played in the United States.

La Liga announced last month it had agreed a 15-year deal with American sports and entertainment group Relevent which would include Spanish top-flight matches being played overseas.

Full details have yet to be given but the plan has caused considerable controversy. The Spanish players’ union, the AFE, has even said strike action could not be ruled out because of a lack of consultation with players.

Some Spanish media outlets are now reporting that the Catalan derby fixture between Girona and La Liga champions Barca, due to be played on January 27, has been selected to be played in the US.

It is claimed that La Liga is prepared to subsidise the travel and accommodation costs of season-ticket holders wishing to fly to the States to watch the game. Those unable to travel would be compensated for the loss of a home fixture.

Neither club has commented on the claims.

A spokesman for La Liga told Press Association Sport: “La Liga is working together with our new partner Relevent Sports to organize the first fixture to be scheduled in the USA. At this point we cannot confirm the teams, match, date or season.”

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