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Barcelona cast doubts on Miami MLS franchise

MLS 2011 franchise favourites Miami will be looking carefully at their financial partners' commitment to the project. FC Barcelona director Jean Oliver has described his team's negotiations as "very delicate, and we are evaluating if the situation allows for the model planned to be implemented in Miami or not."

Oliver added: "The economic situation in the United States is very complicated. What are we doing? Evaluating with great care to see if the change in the economic situation means the project is not viable right now. We said we'd have a team in MLS if there was no financial risk to the club.

"But the situation with the American economy right now forces us to be more prudent to make sure this risk doesn't exist. The risk now is greater than it was when we made the announcement."

Supporters in Ottawa, Portland, St. Louis and Vancouver will welcome the news as their cities bid for two MLS expansion clubs in 2011. An announcement is expected prior to the March 19 start of the 2009 MLS season.

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