La Liga still planning to take matches to U.S., official says

Plans by La Liga, the football league organisers in Spain, to stage a game in the U.S. are alive and kicking, its president Javier Tebas said on Friday.

Tebas however ruled out taking the showpiece “El Clasico” match out of Spain.

La Liga has twice failed to take a regular season match Stateside with FIFA, world football’s governing body, and the Spanish FA (RFEF) voicing their opposition to the plans.

Speaking at an event to mark La Liga’s new television rights deal in North America with ESPN, Tebas said La Liga’s plans have not changed.

He said they would however leave Real Madrid’s meetings with FC Barcelona on home soil.

“ `El Clasico’ is a more difficult game to export because it’s the most important club game in the world, it’s different,” Tebas said. “But we might take other official games, we’re certainly looking at that.

“I hope and expect that in the not too distant future the U.S. should host a competitive game with some of our biggest clubs.

“When we achieve it, maybe it can be FC Barcelona one year, Real Madrid the next or Atletico Madrid. They will be there.

“We’ve tried to do it and we’ll continue to try. After this (ESPN) deal, our fans in the U.S. deserve a top-level game over there.”

La Liga signed a 15-year agreement with entertainment company Relevent Sports in 2018, designed to promote the sport and La Liga in North America.

The agreement included the commitment to host one La Liga regular season match per campaign in the U.S.