Soccer

Planned Barcelona-Girona soccer match at Hard Rock Stadium on hold. Here’s why.

Lionel Messi would be the match’s biggest draw if FC Barcelon and Girona agreed to play at Hard Rock Stadium.
Lionel Messi would be the match’s biggest draw if FC Barcelon and Girona agreed to play at Hard Rock Stadium. AP

La Liga’s plan to stage a regular-season game between Barcelona and Girona at Hard Rock Stadium Jan. 26, 2019, has been put on hold.

Barcelona’s Board of Directors tabled the idea — for now — citing a “lack of consensus” among all the parties that would need to sign off on the proposal.

Last summer, La Liga signed a 15-year partnership with Relevent Sports, the entertainment company owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, to promote the league in North America. Part of that agreement was to play at least one match per season abroad, and the first match was to be Barcelona vs. Girona at Hard Rock Stadium.

The idea was opposed by the Spanish soccer federation, FIFA and the Spanish players’ union. La Liga last month took legal action against the country’s soccer federation in an effort to get approval for the Miami match. A decision was expected this week.

“The FC Barcelona Board of Directors have agreed to withdraw their willingness to play against Girona in Miami after seeing the lack of consensus surrounding the proposal,” read a club statement.

“Barcelona were and are willing to go to Miami in order to play a La Liga game, and accepted that the profits would be shared amongst all clubs in the first and second divisions, in alignment with the TV rights deal, but considers that while all the parties involved cannot reach an agreement, this project cannot thrive.”

La Liga remains hopeful it can hold a match on U.S. soil later in 2019.

“We regret disappointing our fans in the US and will work to, in the shortest time possible, play an official La Liga game in the U.S., just like the major American leagues [NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL] play games abroad,” read a league statement.

“La Liga will continue its court proceeding so an official league game can be played outside of Spain. La Liga believes strongly that The Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol [Royal Spanish Football Federation, RFEF] is not acting in accordance with the law.”

Sports Pass for $30 per year

Get unlimited access to all Miami Herald sports stories and videos for $30

#READLOCAL

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross announces that FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet on July 29, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium as part of the 2017 International Champions Cup. Ross announced the event at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, Mar

  Comments