LaLiga game in US: Spanish FA could scupper Tebas' plan
The Spanish Football Federation hasn't been consulted on Javier Tebas' idea, despite being a key player in the process of making it a reality.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas on Thursday announced a historic, 15-year agreement with multinational media, sports and entertainment group Relevent to promote the Spanish league in Canada and the United States.
However, his desire to hold at least one top-flight game stateside this season as part of the deal won't be easy to bring to fruition. Indeed, the issues surrounding scheduling and the compensation that would have to be paid to clubs and fans alike are not even among the most significant obstacles to be negotiated.
RFEF among several bodies who have to authorise LaLiga fixture in US
LaLiga has failed to consult the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) about the idea, despite the body having a key role to play in making it a reality: according to experts, the RFEF is one of the seven institutions that must give LaLiga its permission if Real Madrid or Barcelona are to play one of their league games abroad.
Tebas' proposal, which Real had been unaware of but is supported by Barça, is yet to be defined in detail - because, as he himself admits, it won't be straightforward, either from a legal or political point of view. For starters, the clubs chosen to play cannot be forced to cross the pond if they refuse to be involved in the plan, which must first be approved at LaLiga's general assembly in September.
What's more, the league must also obtain authorisation from Spain's National Sports Council and foreign ministry, just as the RFEF itself did a month ago before staging the 2018 Spanish Super Cup in the Moroccan city of Tangier.
If both governmental bodies give the go-ahead, the RFEF - with whom LaLiga organises its schedule and assigns referees - would be the next body that would have to authorise the fixture, which would then also have to be green-lit by Uefa, the USSF (United States Soccer Federation), Concacaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) and, finally, Fifa.
Will Fifa be up for it...?
And it's worth noting that these innovative proposals do not tend to go down well at world football's governing body. As a Fifa source reminded this newspaper, the organisation was quick to reject a similar idea by the Premier League a few years ago.