Barca No to US move
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has reiterated the Spanish Association of Footballers (AFE) is ‘united’ against playing La Liga games in the US.
Players representing each of the 20 La Liga squads reconvened at the AFE to voice their disapproval at the plans, which were announced last week, while strike action has not been ruled out.
“All of the players are united, the union is strong and as our president has explained, we all think the same on this issue,” Busquets said in a statement released by the AFE.
“Together we are stronger and taking this stance ensures we are standing up for what we believe is in the best interest of football.”
Neither the AFE, the league’s clubs nor the Spanish FA were consulted by La Liga before they penned a 15-year agreement with US company Relevent.
Led by Busquets, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke and Joaquin of Real Betis, the players stated their stance on the controversial issue.
The players and the AFE will also raise concerns over the late kick-off times of league matches, with many running past midnight local time.
“The players are outraged, very surprised, and are all against it. It’s unanimous,” AFE president David Aganzo told reporters, in quotes carried by ESPN FC.
“The players don’t want to play overseas. Things have to be done in a more coherent way and with common sense.
“A decision of this magnitude, that affects players, referees and fans, was taken unilaterally and is a lack of respect.
“I have information that there are certain clubs that are in favour and others against this (strike action), but I represent the players.
“We need to sort this out with the union, and we will tell them all of our problems. If, from then on and after a few days, they don’t answer, then we will have to solve the situation.
“We are going to try to see that it doesn’t reach that extreme [of a strike]. But we are willing to go right to the last option if it is necessary.”