Girona accepts LaLiga proposal to play Barcelona in US

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Girona has accepted a LaLiga proposal to face local rival Barcelona in the United States, adamant it represents a "great possibility of and expansion" for its club and city.

LaLiga announced in mid-August it had struck a groundbreaking deal with multinational media, sports and entertainment company Relevent that will boost the competition in North America and see a Spanish top-flight match played in the United States for the first time.

Such a move has been met with staunch opposition, particularly from the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE), which accused the league of dispensing "with the opinion of the players and engages them in actions that only benefit them".

AFE's president David Aganzo, a former Spain Under-21 international and Real Madrid youth product, then accused LaLiga of trying to use footballers as "a currency".

Despite a threat of players taking strike action if a USA-based match was confirmed, reports began circulating on Wednesday that the game in question was to be Girona against Barcelona.

Girona confirmed that, not only has it been approached, but it has gone as far as accepting the proposal to host Barca away from its own stadium.

A statement on the club's website read: "The club confirms that it has received this proposal from LaLiga and is working in this line together with LaLiga and Barca, although there is no official confirmation that the game is will be played in Miami.

"The club has accepted the proposal understanding that it is a great possibility of expansion and growth, not only for Girona, but also for our city and our territory.

"A little over three years ago, the club fought against disappearing entirely and now our goal is to consolidate ourselves in LaLiga.

"This action would be another step within the idea of competing in the elite of football after the effort we have all made in recent years and that has led us to LaLiga."

Girona's home match with Barca has initially been scheduled for 26 January, but that could change should the game be relocated.

Girona is reported to have offered season ticket holders a flight into the United States that will leave Spain on the same day as the game, before returning to Girona immediately afterwards.