Barcelona women's team to play in the US from 'next season'

DOHA: Spanish football giants Barcelona are in talks to put a team in the American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) from next year, a club official said on Tuesday.

Javier Sobrino, Barcelona's strategy and knowledge director, said discussions were ongoing to complete the groundbreaking move.

“We are planning to open a franchise in the US, a Barcelona franchise in the American league,” Sobrino said on the sidelines of a conference in Qatar.

“We are right now in discussion to see whether it is possible or not.

“It will be immediate, next season is our goal, if not the following one.

“A women's team playing in the US”.

The NWSL is arguably the biggest league in the women's game.

More than 650,000 fans watched matches in the season which ended last month.

There are nine teams in the league, though Barcelona would be the first from outside the US.

Sobrino said the US franchise would be known as Barcelona.

It is thought likely that the team would play in Los Angeles.

Barcelona's interest in establishing a US franchise also reflects the astonishing growth in the women's game globally.

FIFA said last year that the women's game is the biggest growth opportunity in sport.

Its profile is set to rise even further next year with the World Cup being held in France.

The US are the current world champions. — AFP

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