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La Liga president says matches could be played in the United States in 2025/26 season

La Liga president Javier Tebas has publicly announced that league matches could be played in the United States as soon as the 2025/26 campaign.

Tebas previously tried to play Barcelona against Girona at the Hard Rock Stadium in 2018. However, this was opposed by both the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and FIFA.

La Liga president
La Liga president, Javier Tebas, has said that a regular season match could take place in the US as soon as 2025/26 – Photo by Icon Sport

‘This time La Liga will play official games abroad’ – La Liga president set on future of league

Previously, FIFA banned teams from playing outside of their league’s home country. Relevant Sports Group has been trying to allow Spanish teams to play in the US since 2018, but have encountered legal obstacles. However, in April 2024, Relevant Sports Group settled an antitrust lawsuit with FIFA and recently announced in a statement that football’s main governing body are considering rules concerning whether domestic teams can play league matches abroad.

Speaking to Expansión, the La Liga president said: “I don't know when, but this time LaLiga will play official games abroad.”

“An official game in the United States would strengthen our position in the North American market, which is the second [biggest] for LaLiga after Spain.

“Other really competitive leagues are coming, so we can't always do the same thing. They would jump ahead of us.”

Relevant Sports Group/FIFA dispute explained

Relevant Sports Group promotes football events in the US, especially La Liga matches. They also have a 50% share of La Liga in North America, which involves media rights, sponsorship assets, fan events, and grassroots efforts. As a result of this, they tried to push forward the match between Barcelona and Girona in Miami in 2019. When FIFA stopped the match going ahead, Relevant sued, and the U.S. Soccer Federation also refused to sanction a league match between two Ecuadorian teams.

Originally, Relevant’s antitrust lawsuit was dismissed by a district court, but it was then reinstated by a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Following this, a settlement was agreed upon between the two organisations, forcing FIFA to drop from the suit. However, the USSF still want to review the case, and it has also not been approved by U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

 

Information from ESPN and The Associated Press was used in this article.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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