Spanish football federation allowing La Liga to play every day

The two Spanish football bodies, RFEF and La Liga, have been battling since last summer after the league decided to add games on Mondays and Fridays.

La Liga match ball

La Liga accused the Spanish federation of wanting a bigger cut of the increased television revenues and went to court.   -  Reuters

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) won a legal judgement handing it control over league scheduling and then said it would allow La Liga to play every day when the season resumes.

The two Spanish football bodies have been battling since last summer after the league decided to add games on Mondays and Fridays this season.

The RFEF objected, saying it was standing up for fans who would have trouble going to games on those nights.

La Liga accused the federation of wanting a bigger cut of the increased television revenues and went to court.

The two played to a draw in August, when a court allowed the league on Fridays but not Mondays.

The legal replay ended on Wednesday in complete victory for the RFEF as Madrid judge Andres Sanchez handed down a ruling which potentially gives the federation the power to stop the league playing any day except Saturday and Sunday.

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The RFEF said in a statement that it took “maximum satisfaction” from the decision but added that it would permit games on every day for the remainder of coronavirus-interrupted championship as a gesture of “goodwill“.

The RFEF said it “wants to help allow the current season to finish without any problems.”

“Nothing is being asked in return for this over this period of a month and a half.” It also said that it might continue to allow games on those nights if next season starts behind closed doors.

But it now has the power to prevent league games on those Mondays and Fridays.

The league responded to the judgment with a brief statement that expressed “its respect but absolute disagreement with the ruling.” It indicated it would appeal.

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The league argues that it has the authority to set the dates and times of its games. The RFEF says the league can pick times but not days.

On Wednesday, Judge Sanchez said the league had some autonomy to organise its competition, but with a “necessary and mandatory coordination with the RFEF.”

He said that the only official league days were Saturday and Sunday. The footballing bodies already have a deal in place covering midweek evenings.

He said the “RFEF and the League must negotiate in good faith”, over Fridays and Mondays.

The league’s television contracts are worth more than two billion euros ($2.2bn) over three years. It said the RFEF would be willing to accept the extra game days in exchange for “payment of 30 million euros”, which it said was too much.

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