• News

La Liga president defends early Barca-Madrid kick-off time

Javier Tebas, La Liga, Barcelona, Real Madrid
Getty Images

Javier Tebas has defended La Liga’s decision to give this month’s Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid an early kick-off time.

The Barcelona and Real La Liga match at Camp Nou will take place on October 26, with kick-off set for 13:00 (CET).

It’s stirred up suggestions in Spain that Barcelona could be at a disadvantage given they will have a day less to recover from their Champions League clash with Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic on October 23.

Real, meanwhile, will visit Galatasaray in Turkey 24 hours earlier in their Group A clash.

But Tebas insists starting the famous Clasico between the two great rivals at an earlier time allows more people around the world to watch.

“Now you put a Clasico at one o’clock and you can see it in more places across the world,” said Tebas during a Movistar and La Liga event on Friday.

“Our international work consists of that. If we don’t put it at that time, in Asia they won’t be able to watch it.

“It’s Spanish football but it’s no longer only for Spanish people. There are fans all over the world.

“In El Salvador, they tell us that they will be sleeping on Saturday at one o’clock. We can’t please everyone.”

The Spaniard, who previously attempted to stage a Catalan derby between Girona and Barcelona in Miami in January, also reacted to accusations that TV producers manipulated VAR images that led to Denis Cheryshev’s goal in Valencia’s 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao last weekend.

“I found it outrageous. No one doubts the system or the arbitrators,” said Tebas.

“The assessment will be made at the end of the season. It has been seven days. We have to wait.

“It would be bold to say that the system worked better or worse than last season. It was exaggerated.”

Denis Cheryshev, Valencia
VILLAREAL, SPAIN – APRIL 11: Denis Cheryshev of Valencia CF.