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  • The match is contingent on the approval of a number of governing bodies, and Spanish players have already threatened to strike if La Liga's plan to play in the USA continues.
By 90Min
September 04, 2018

Barcelona's away game against Catalan neighbors Girona in January is set to be the first La Liga game played in the United States as part of the new 15-year 'La Liga North America' deal with Relevent Sports announced last month.

Relevent Sports is the U.S.-based company behind the International Champions Cup and is backed by billionaire Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross.

That would perhaps explain why the groundbreaking Girona vs. Barcelona clash, to be played on Jan. 27, will be played at the Dolphins' famous Hard Rock Stadium in front of more than 60,000 fans in the Florida sunshine.

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The game would see the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho play in front of an eager American audience as La Liga looks to muscle in on global Premier League popularity.

Although yet to be confirmed by La Liga, the story was splashed across the front page of Catalan publication L'Esportiu on Tuesday morning with the headline, 'We're All Going to Miami'.

Sport has since also reported that Girona plan to pay for 1,500 of their fans to fly to Miami, with supporters to be refunded 20% of their season ticket price if they are unable to or won't travel.

It was reported by Marca last month that La Liga players are against the idea of playing competitive games overseas, with Spanish Footballers' Association chief David Aganzo criticizing the 'unilateral' decision to play games in the United States without consulting players.

"It cannot be that a person takes a decision of a 15-year agreement, which affects many people and without consulting. We are fed up with not being valued," he said. "La Liga have shown a lack of respect in not involving players that are directly affected by the decision.

"I would like to give Javier Tebas [La Liga president] a dressing down so he can see football in a different way and realize that it is not just money and business."

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