Javier Tebas has defended plans to stage a regular-season game in the United States starting this season but insists the Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona will not be the one selected.
Tebas signed a 15-year agreement with Relevent, the organisers of the International Champions Cup, to promote the sport in North America and expand La Liga’s brand.
As part of the deal, a league game will be played in the United States but no further information regarding date, location or which teams will be involved, has been announced.
“No,” Tebas told El Mundo when asked if a Clasico could be played in New York or Beijing, where La Liga is also looking to have a bigger presence. “Logistically, the Clasico in New York is not viable. At least the league Clasico.”
The summer of 2017 saw the first-ever Clasico played in the U.S. when Real Madrid and Barcelona faced off in Miami during the International Champions Cup.
Various players from the top sides, including Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and two of Barcelona’s leaders, Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets, met on Wednesday in Madrid and were “unanimously” against La Liga’s plans to stage a game outside of Spain.
The Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) is upset with La Liga for not being consulted and does not rule out a strike.
“We have a meeting with La Liga in September but I don’t think it will serve for anything,” AFE president David Aganzo told Onda Cero radio.
Tebas has defended the long-term agreement and says La Liga’s international strategy is necessary to attract foreign investors to Spanish clubs. The Premier League is considered the most profitable competition in Europe while La Liga is a distant second.
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