La Liga announce plans to stage fixtures in the USA

Competitive games will be played in USA from this season onwards

La Liga have announced they will play at least one regular game a season in North America.

It is the first venture of its kind and will see a competitive game from a top European league played abroad

The first game could be played this season, after La Liga signed a 15-year partnership with Relevant Sports.

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La Liga hope that the new venture, called La Liga North America, will see them compete with the Premier League for global popularity and increase revenues from sponsors and media rights for the Spanish top-flight.

“This extraordinary joint venture is the next giant leap in growing soccer’s popularity in North America,” said Relevent chairman and owner Stephen Ross.

“This unique relationship will create new opportunities for millions of North American soccer fans to experience the most passionate, exciting, and highest level of soccer in the world.”

Real Madrid played a number of pre-season games in the USA recently

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “We’re devoted to growing the passion for soccer around the world. This ground-breaking agreement is certain to give a major impulse to the popularity of the beautiful game in the U.S. and Canada.

“Relevent has filled stadiums across the U.S. with the International Champions Cup, [and] we’re thrilled to partner with them on a joint mission to grow soccer in North America.”

While Premier League, La Liga and Serie A clubs regularly play pre-season games in North America, competitive games have been a no-go for leagues.

Barcelona attract plenty of fans in the USA

The Premier League flirted with the idea of a 39th game played outside of England last decade, but the negative reaction from fans and players saw the idea quickly quashed.

No announcement has been made as to what cities the games might be played in or which team would be involved, however it is hard to see the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona agreeing to travel that far for a game in the middle of the season.

Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins and part-owner of their stadium, meaning it is the front-runner to host the first game.

The fear now among English football fans is that it is only a matter of time until the Premier League follows suit.