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The ongoing polemic with the Girona-Barça LaLiga game in Miami

Everything points to the Girona-Barça game scheduled for January as being the match selected by LaLiga as part of their US experiment. It's suggested that the league will cover the costs for up to 1.500 return flights for fans and offer compensation for those not wishing to travel stateside. This news has, once again opened the debate about the rights and wrongs of this LaLiga initiative. Apart from the usual footballing perspective applied to the decision, there is also a political element to the move that is also being looked at. With the ongoing clamour for Catalan independence, a clash in Miami between two sides with a high percentage of independence sympathisers could offer political groups such as CDR (Catalunya: Comitès de Defensa de la República) an international platform on which to transmit their views.

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Move to Miami

The possibility of LaLiga taking a game to the States still has to secure the support of the Players Association (AFE) who are threatening strike action if the initiative goes ahead. President of the Spanish FA, Luis Rubiales still claims he's yet to be officially contacted about the move and two of FC Barcelona's captains, Busquets and Piqué, have both voiced their dissatisfaction with the idea of playing in Miami. There is still the essential approval of key governing bodies such as UEFA, CONCACAF, the US FA and FIFA to be considered. There is also the matter of playing a game in a neutral venue which immediately distorts the integrity of a league system where teams play each other on a game and away basis. Having said that, it's true in past campaigns games have been played at neutral venues but generally due to forces of nature.

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Despite the apparent obstacles, Tebas is relentless in is drive to increase global awareness for LaLiga and will be aware that no-one from Girona attended the AFE meeting and that ultimately, those from Barça who did attend top oppose the game may have to bite their lip. Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales may drag his heels on the matter but has not offered his personal view on the proposal and will be aware that final of the 2018 Spanish Super Cup being staged in Morocco will be held against him should he decide to oppose the move. Tebas, meanwhile is convinced that his initiative is a positive one and will have an answer prepared for each line of dissent though I do recall a similar move from the English Premier League (the so called game 39) some years ago that, due to the level of protest never materialised. Time will tell ....