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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.”
Goals from Kameron Simmonds and Christina Salmon led Jamaica to a 3-0 victory over Cuba at the Concacaf U20 Women Championships in the Dominican Republic on Monday.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) has responded to the ban of Russian teams by FIFA and UEFA, saying it “categorically disagrees with” and could yet challenge the decision.
The two governing bodies have suspended Russian teams from club and international competitions until further notice, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women’s Euro 2022.
Spartak Moscow will be removed from the Europa League, where they had been set to face RB Leipzig in the last 16.
The sanctions were imposed on Russia on Monday following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last week.
A subsequent statement from the RFU suggested it could investigate avenues for an appeal “in accordance with international sports law”.
It read: “The Russian Football Union categorically disagrees with the decision of FIFA and UEFA to suspend all Russian teams from participating in international matches for an indefinite period.
“We believe that this decision is contrary to the norms and principles of international competitions, as well as to the sporting spirit.
“It is obviously discriminatory in nature and harms a huge number of athletes, coaches, employees of clubs and national teams, and most importantly, millions of Russian and foreign fans, whose interests international sports organisations should primarily protect.
“Such actions divide the world sports community, which has always adhered to the principles of equality, mutual respect and independence from politics.
“We reserve the right to challenge the decision of FIFA and UEFA in accordance with international sports law.”
Barcelona president Joan Laporta hopes Ousmane Dembele changes his stance and reconsiders the contract offer from the Catalan club.
Dembele has failed to agree an extension to his current contract, which is due to expire at the end of this season, leading to a spell on the sidelines in January as the winger became an unpopular figure with fans at Camp Nou.
The 24-year-old did not secure a move away from Barca last month, and head coach Xavi has slowly reintroduced him.
Dembele delivered a masterful attacking show in a 23-minute cameo against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, scoring one and assisting two more as Barca cruised to a 4-0 victory.
That made him the first Blaugrana substitute to play a part in three goals in a single LaLiga game this century, and Laporta expressed his hopes the former Borussia Dortmund could yet stay.
“Dembele knows our offer and that we have always wanted him to stay. We hope that at the end of the season he will reconsider it,” Laporta said on Monday, as quoted by Cadena SERe.
While Dembele shone against Athletic, Xavi also reserved special praise after the game for Pedri, who he compared to former team-mate Andres Iniesta.
The Spain midfielder attempted (92) and completed (86) more passes on Sunday than in any prior LaLiga match for Barca, also setting a new high for touches (107).
Laporta followed Xavi’s plaudits as he hailed the former Las Palmas man’s recent outings.
“[Pedri] is destined to be one of the best players in the world, if not the best, but he knows that he has to work hard,” Laporta said.
Feb 26, 2022 Jamaica Football
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