LaLiga could play fixtures in U.S. as soon as 2025-26 – Tebas

LaLiga president Javier Tebas said the Spanish league is hopeful of playing competitive games in the United States as soon as the 2025-26 season.

Tebas originally planned to stage a league match involving Barcelona and Girona at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in 2018 but was met with opposition from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and FIFA, among others.

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However, a recent lawsuit involving Relevent Sports Group, the company involved in moving LaLiga matches to the U.S., has reopened the possibility of it happening in the future.

“I don’t know when, but this time LaLiga will play official games abroad,” Tebas told Expansión. “I think it could be from the 2025-26 season.

“An official game in the United States would strengthen our position in the North American market, which is the second [biggest] for LaLiga after Spain.

“Other really competitive leagues are coming, so we can’t always do the same thing. They would jump ahead of us.”

Sources at LaLiga told ESPN that while the prospect of taking a game abroad is closer than in the past, Tebas’ comments do not constitute an official announcement.

Tebas’ renewed optimism comes on the back of a potentially landmark case involving Relevent, FIFA and the U.S courts.

The Supreme Court recently allowed Relevent’s antitrust lawsuit to go forward against FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation over the world governing body’s policy of not permitting a country to host league matches involving teams from other countries.

The high court order leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling in favour of Relevent, controlled by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

Relevent sued in 2019 after FIFA disrupted its plan to host Barcelona and Girona at Miami Gardens, Florida, and the USSF refused permission to sanction a league match between two teams from Ecuador.

A district court dismissed the lawsuit, but a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated it. The Biden administration weighed in on Relevent’s side at the Supreme Court.

Relevent and FIFA reached an agreement this month to drop FIFA from the suit, a deal that the USSF wants to review and that has not yet been approved by U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

Relevent organises and promotes soccer events in the U.S. Its portfolio includes a 50-50 joint venture with Spain’s LaLiga in North America that covers the league’s media rights, sponsorship assets, fan events and grassroots efforts.

It has organised preseason friendlies and tournaments in the U.S. at the same time as seeking to stage matches from FIFA-affiliated teams in LaLiga and similarly situated leagues.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.