La Liga ‘concerned’ over federation’s weekend only fixture plan

Real Valladolid’s Fernando Calero reacts after Real Valladolid’s Joaquin scored an own goal during a match against Atletico Madrid. (Reuters pic)

MADRID: Spain’s La Liga expressed its concern on Wednesday over federation plans to scrap non-weekend games in the fixture row overshadowing the build-up to the August 16 start to the new season.

Confusion reigned last week when the league issued a fixture list containing games on Fridays and Mondays, while the Spanish Football Federation announced a different list with games only at weekends.

The federation’s in-house adjudicator found in the RFEF’s favour, with a decision on the legitimacy of the move awaited in the civil courts.

“In the name of all the league clubs I’m expressing our concern at what we consider the RFEF’s interference in La Liga’s field of competence,” Spanish league spokesman Miguel Angel Gil Marin said.

The issue will come up before the courts on August 7, nine days before Barcelona play Athletic Bilbao on Friday 16 – or 10 days on the Federation’s fixture programme which has moved the season curtain-raiser 24 hours to Saturday August 17.

La Liga claim the decision jeopardises national and international television contracts worth “more than €2 billion” (US$2.2billion).

The RFEF say it is representing the interests of the fans in objecting to games on Mondays. Spanish media reported last week that the RFEF was willing to negotiate over Fridays and wanted more money from La Liga.