March 2, 2019 / 5:52 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer: Ecuador's Barcelona bid to stage league game in U.S

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador’s Barcelona are hoping to succeed where their more famous namesakes failed by playing a league match in the United States.

The Guayaquil-based club, who have won a record 15 Ecuadorean league titles, are planning to stage their home game against Deportivo Cuenca on April 14 at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

The Ecuadorean federation (FEF) and South American soccer’s governing body CONMEBOL have both given permission for the match to be go ahead, local media reported.

Several Ecuadorean websites published a letter sent from CONMEBOL to the FEF on Friday in which it authorised the game.

“It’s historic,” said Barcelona President Jose Cevallos, adding that the match would be “significant in financial terms” for the club.

The match would still have to be approved by the United States Soccer Federation and CONCACAF.

Last year, La Liga announced plans to stage a game between Catalan neighbours Girona and Barcelona in Miami but ran into opposition from the Spanish federation. Barcelona, who had initially backed the plan, then withdrew their support.

In December, CONMEBOL moved the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Argentine rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors to Madrid after crowd trouble outside the stadium in Buenos Aires caused the original game to be called off.

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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