September 17, 2018 / 11:15 PM / 3 months ago

FIFA chief has doubts about Liga plans for U.S. fixture

FILE PHOTO: FIFA president Gianni Infantino in the stand before the match. Soccer Football - World Cup - Group G - Belgium vs Tunisia - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 23, 2018 REUTERS/Grigory Dukor/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed doubts about La Liga’s plan to host Girona’s home game against Barcelona in the United States.

The Spanish league wants the fixture to be played in Miami on Jan. 26, 2019, but the president of soccer’s world governing body is not keen on the idea.

“I think I would prefer to see a great MLS game in the U.S. rather than La Liga being in the U.S.,” Infantino said in a statement provided by FIFA to ESPN on Monday.

“In football, the general principle is that you play a ‘home’ match at ‘home’, and not in a foreign country.”

La Liga have asked the Spanish federation to approve the game being held overseas, while US Soccer, FIFA, UEFA and CONCACAF, which represents North and Central America and the Caribbean, must also agree for plans to go ahead.

FIFA told ESPN it had not yet been officially asked to give its consent for the game to be held in the U.S.

La Liga president Javier Tebas responded on Twitter to Infantino’s disapproving comments.

“I will remind the president of FIFA that in the MLS three teams from Canada play and Toronto FC are the current champions, and in Canada there is a professional league,” wrote Tebas.

Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Ken Ferris

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