Spanish champions FC Barcelona have confirmed that plans for their Catalan derby against Girona to be held in Miami have been scrapped.
The club underlined a lack of unity in Spanish football for the plans faltering, emphasising that “This project will not prosper until there is agreement between all parties”.
A deal has been signed for at least one game a season to be played in the US for the next 15 seasons, however the plans have received much criticism from the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) and players’ union (AFE).
A deal had been agreed for the Catalan derby to be the first game of this agreement with both Girona and Barcelona coming to terms to play their league tie at the Hard Rock Stadium.
A statement from Barcelona said: “FC Barcelona were and remain willing to play a La Liga game in Miami, and accepted that income from the game would be shared among all Primera Division and Segunda Division clubs, following the same criteria of television rights money distribution.”
La Liga did retain hopes of playing a game in the US, stating: “We regret to disappoint our fans in the US and will work to, in the shortest possible time, stage an official La Liga game in the US,” a statement read.
“La Liga will continue the planned action so an official game can be played outside of Spain.”
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde had also previously questioned the decision to play a league game abroad: “It sounds strange to me to play a domestic league game abroad,” Valverde told reporters.
“But by the same token, it also sounded weird to play the Spanish Super Cup abroad and we did that…maybe some day the Moroccan Super Cup will be in Spain, but that will still be strange.
“That being said, football has already crossed borders as a sport, becoming something else…we will see what happens, because as for now this is just an idea.”
In order to push forward with the plans, the tie would need approval from Uefa, US Soccer and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).
It always appeared likely that the debut game in the US would feature either Real Madrid or Barcelona, however with Barcelona’s objectification to the plans, it means both sides have vocally objected to plans.
In order to try and secure the game, La Liga had worked with Girona to offer the club’s season ticket holders 1,500 free flights, with those not wishing to attend will be reimbursed 20% of the price they paid for their season ticket.