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Spurs play down overseas matches

The Daily Mail reports that European football is unlikely to follow the example of the NFL and play league matches on another continent, executives at the Soccerex business convention said on Wednesday.

"It is no exaggeration to say I would be strung up from the nearest lamp post in north London if I told our fans we were playing Spurs v Arsenal in New York or Sydney," Tottenham's executive director Paul Barber said.

Barber and Barcelona's chief marketing officer Daniel Schloesser both played down the idea.

"You can never say never in life, but I would say, from our perspective, it will almost certainly never happen in the foreseeable future," Schloesser said.

"I cannot imagine Barcelona meeting Real Madrid in New York for example in a regular season game, and I cannot see any other major European team doing so either.

Barber said: "The only remote possibility is if both sides involved and the relevant FA agreed to stage a cup match perhaps on neutral territory in another country, but even then I can't see that happening.

"We have a totally different culture in European soccer than they do in the NFL which is far more marketing-based. Of course we are marketing our product too and the Premier League does that very successfully."

Earlier, Philippe Le Floc'h, UEFA's director of media and marketing rights, told delegates: "UEFA has discussed the possibility of playing Champions League games in Asia but I do not see the idea flying.

"We have to cater for European fans and we have to respect the traditions of European football."

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Tribal Football Staff

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