Spain’s soccer authorities are considering plans to stage La Liga fixtures abroad, with the proposal due to be discussed by the league’s 20 member clubs.
The discussions were confirmed by La Liga president Javier Tebas, who said that Spain’s top flight is seeking greater financial revenues from international audiences, including more lucrative broadcast and sponsorship deals.
Speaking to UK newspaper the Financial Times, Tebas said: “La Liga is global entertainment and we want to grow international appeal. As part of that effort we are discussing the option of playing some of the league matches outside of Spain.”
The Financial Times also reports that games could be played overseas as early as next year, with China and the USA being the most likely destinations.
La Liga would not be the first major sports league to take regular season fixtures abroad. The National Football League (NFL) has held games in London, UK since 2007, while the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) have also staged a number of international matches.
The Premier League announced similar plans in 2008, seeking to create a 39th round of matches to be played on the same weekend around the world, but the proposal was shelved after intense opposition from fans, politicians and the media. However, the door for England’s top flight to take games abroad appears to remain open after Richard Scudamore, executive chairman of the Premier League, told reporters in July: “I thought [Game 39] was the right thing to do. I still do.”