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Manchester City's global empire blamed for driving La Liga to play controversial games in USA

La Liga bosses are fighting Fifa, the national association and the Spanish players’ union for the right to stage Girona’s clash with Catalan neighbours Barcelona in Miami on January 26.

Girona are part of the City Football Group and a sister club of the Premier League champions.

And La Liga senior spokesman Joris Evers revealed City’s Abu Dhabi owners were totally committed to the idea.

Evers said: “Girona were keen to do something like this because they are part of the City Football Group.

“City have clubs in many countries, including the USA of course, where they have a team in New York.

“Manchester City have international exposure but also a feeling for the US market and what it could become.”

City themselves have not so far suggested that they would like to be part of any potential Premier League plans to play games overseas.

Outgoing Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore was forced to shelve his “39th game” proposals a decade ago and has insisted there are no current plans for matches to be played outside England.

A final decision on the La Liga plan is expected shortly after Christmas but Evers remains bullish.

He added: “We are not giving up. It is clear that playing a match abroad will be good for everybody involved, including some of those who do not like the idea.

“We have deliberately scheduled it for January, in the MLS closed season.

“It will be good for football in the US and help grow the game. It will help us and our clubs grow too, to show the world we are not just about Barcelona and Madrid.”


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