LaLiga's hopes of overseas matches dealt another blow

By Sports Desk December 02, 2021

LaLiga's hopes of staging domestic matches abroad have taken another blow after a Spanish court ruled all league games must take place in Spain.

The Spanish top flight and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have been contesting a legal battle for three years over proposals to take matches to the United States.

Back in 2018, LaLiga signed a 15-year agreement with multinational media, sports and entertainment company Relevent, with the aim being to promote the division in North America.

That partly revolved around LaLiga matches taking place in Miami, Florida – the first such occasion was supposed to be a game involving Barcelona and Girona in early 2019, but the Blaugrana pulled out citing a lack of support for an idea that attracted widespread criticism.

LaLiga then attempted to organise for Villarreal and Atletico Madrid to face each other in Miami, but a Spanish court declined a November 2019 request to grant an injunction against RFEF, who had blocked the move.

An appeal lodged by LaLiga was then rejected in March 2020, though those in charge of the competition vowed to submit another challenge to the ruling.

Once again, however, the court in question has ruled in favour of RFEF.

"The latest ruling of the Provincial Court of Madrid regarding the Miami match that LaLiga intended to play between Girona and FC Barcelona has once again proved the RFEF right," a statement on the RFEF website read on Thursday.

"This is the second time that justice has ruled on this matter and has once again dismissed the position of LaLiga, rejecting the appeal in full, after the first favourable ruling to the RFEF of March 6, 2020.

"The Spanish justice endorses the prohibition of the dispute of league matches outside of Spain. Justice condemns LaLiga once again to pay the costs of the judicial process. Justice returns to pronounce in favour of the RFEF in a judicial process with LaLiga."

LaLiga chiefs insist they will not be giving up yet, however, with suggestions they could yet lodge another appeal, this time to the Spanish supreme court.

"The internationalisation of Spanish football is a key issue for the future of the industry," said a statement. "Consequently, it will continue to work towards achieving the crucial objective of holding a match outside of Spain."

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