LaLiga chief Javier Tebas and David Aganzo, the president of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) met on Thursday to try and hammer out a deal whereby the proposal to stage a league fixture between Girona and Barcelona in Miami could go ahead, with little headway being made.
Aganzo, who has the backing of the 20 captains representing Liga clubs who are opposed to the idea, said after the meeting that there is a “20 percent chance” of the official fixture, which corresponds to week 21 of the Primera División fixture list, being played in the USA on January 26.
“We have spoken about the matter and with the information we currently have available, the players cannot go to the United States,” Aganzo said. “We lack all types of information regarding the financial side of things, health issues and timetables for when the players would be expected to join up with their teams. We want a report that lays out exactly what is being proposed to pass on to our colleagues. The players are human beings, the fixture list changes and working conditions as laid out in Articles 8 and 9 of the collective bargaining agreement would have to be modified. We need to ensure that the conditions [for the USA fixture] are adequate.
AFE brings up prospect of strike action again
Aganzo went on to say that the players had not been consulted and that Tebas and the Professional Football League’s unilateral signing of an agreement with US entertainment group Relevent was “not the way to go about things.”
“As things stand there is a 20 percent chance that the game will be played in Miami. The players are the principle actors in this sport and they are not in agreement with the way this has been handled. The fans also have to give their approval and there are several organisations who have to decide on the matter.”
The AFE has previously threatened to stage a strike if the LFP pushes ahead without their consent and Aganzo reiterated that stance again on Thursday: “It’s another tool that we have. Until we have sufficient information in our hands there will be no game in Miami and we will not rule out going on strike.”
Tebas: "The game will go ahead, 90 percent"
Tebas, meanwhile, gave a vastly different account of the meeting at the AFE headquarters in Madrid, stating that the game would go ahead as planned “90 percent.”
“We will make sure this game is played,” the LaLiga chief told reporters. “We have been working on it and there is no reason not to play the game in the USA, we have received no obstruction from the Spanish Football Federation, Uefa or Concacaf. Fifa has no say in the matter. The AFE said that the information required is insufficient and we have agreed to provide in writing everything they need to form their opinion. We have promised to send all this information by tomorrow morning.”
Tebas also added that although the LFP had requested a meeting with the RFEF, the federation has yet to reply.