Spanish heavyweight Barcelona has reportedly made a U-turn on its stance about playing La Liga games abroad. The latest development is as a result of the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu claiming that the league’s governing body should host at least three games per season overseas.
Back in December 2018, Barcelona pulled out of a league clash with Girona slated for January 26 in Miami after the arrangement was met by opposition from the Spanish Football Federation, UEFA and FIFA. The plan was said to be part of measures designed to promote football and, for that matter, the Spanish league in North America as per a 15-year agreement signed between La Liga and entertainment company Relevant Sports in August last year.
While the proposition has been wildly opposed by other top clubs such as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Barcelona supposedly maintains a stance that a lot could be yielded should the idea be considered. As such, President Josep Maria Bartomeu has advised La Liga to put in the work for the plan to be executed next season.
In an interview with BBC, he said: “If we want La Liga to be strong, we are to play in these games.
“At Barca, we have sometimes been talking to La Liga and have been telling them that if you want to promote La Liga more and more, then we should have three games of the year outside (Spain): one in America, one in the Middle East and one in Asia.
“We have to go and be closer to the fans. We do the summer tours in July and August to go closer to the fans. It’s us showing respect to them, going to Miami would have been respect to our fans in the USA.”
Momentarily, Barcelona sits atop the Spanish league table with 51 points after 23 games though just six points adrift second-placed Real Madrid.