By 90Min
September 18, 2018

FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu have both expressed doubts over whether the controversial La Liga game between Barça and Girona in Miami in late January will actually go ahead.

La Liga and both clubs jointly approached the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) last week for formal permission to play the game, which is part of the 'LaLiga North America' partnership with US-based Relevent Sports, overseas.

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But permission from RFEF is only one hurdle that must be cleared as the game also needs to be formally signed off by FIFA and other governing bodies because it sees domestic football crossing international borders. And that may be easier said than done given Infantino's doubts.

"I think I would prefer to see a great MLS game in the U.S. rather than La Liga being in the U.S. In football, the general principle is that you play a 'home' match at 'home', and not in a foreign country," Infantino told ESPN.

"There are rules, regulations, that everyone complies with. In particular, such a proposal has to be approved by the respective associations, by the respective confederations and FIFA should also express a view, not least since it would have implications for football at global level."

FIFA additionally confirmed that no request from La Liga has yet been received.

Unlike the FIFA chief, Bartomeu appears to be fully supportive of the Miami game, but his doubt stems from the fact that whether it actually goes ahead remains in the hands of others.

"I do not know if the Girona-Barça game will be played in the United States, it is not up to us," the Barça president told Spanish radio show El Transistor. "It seems a very good idea."

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