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FIFA president still not keen on US hosting Spanish league

September 18, 2018

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi pauses during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona at the Anoeta stadium, in San Sebastian, northern Spain, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Ignacio Unanue)

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino is still not convinced it’s a good idea to play Spanish league games in the United States.

Infantino says on Tuesday he would “prefer to see a great MLS game in the U.S. rather than La Liga being in the U.S.”

His statement repeated comments made last month in Washington D.C. after the Spanish league announced its 15-year, brand-building plan to play games in the U.S.

The league wants Lionel Messi’s Barcelona to play near-neighbor Girona at Miami Gardens, Florida, on Jan. 26.

It needs approval from the Spanish and American federations, plus continental bodies UEFA and CONCACAF.

Though FIFA’s permission is not mandatory, Infantino says: “FIFA should also express a view on the matter, not least since it would have implications for football at global level as well.”

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