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Spain's footballers union threaten strike over US match

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Spain's footballers union threaten strike over US match
Atletico Madrid's Spanish forward Diego Costa (R) challenges Valencia's defender Gabriel Paulista during La Liga match on Monday. Photo: AFP
09:17 CEST+02:00
Spain's footballers union threatened on Wednesday to strike over controversial plans to play a La Liga match in the United States, blasting a decision based only on "money and business".

"We are tired of these unilateral decisions that directly affect the players like this plan of playing outside Spain," said David Aganzo, the president of the players union (AFE) after a meeting attended by a host of  stars including Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Barcelona's Sergio Busquets.

Spain's La Liga announced last Thursday that they planned to stage a match in North America as part of an expansion drive.

READ MORE: La Liga reveals plans to take Spanish soccer to United States

The teams and the venue were not disclosed but El Pais newspaper said the match would take place over the coming 2018-19 season and would probably feature either Barcelona or Real Madrid as one of the teams.

Aganzo said Wednesday that the AFE planned to meet La Liga chiefs in September to try and convince officials to give up on the plan.   

If not, at the "end of September or the beginning of October we will have to start acting," said Aganzo adding the union was "prepared to go to the end", evoking the possibility of a "strike". 

"We are used to seeing football played only for money and business," added Aganzo who said Liga officials no longer take into account "the health and risk for the players".

The national supporters federation (FASFE) have described the plan to move a match to the United States as an "aberration".   

La Liga earned 3.6 billion euros in revenues during the 2016-2017 season, nearly 40 percent of which came from TV rights and generated a pre-tax profit of €234 million. 

For the 2017-2018 season, La Liga said it hoped to exceed for the first time the four-billion-euro mark in revenue.

READ ALSO: Six new signings to watch in La Liga

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