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Opinion: La Liga should not move matches abroad

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is The Supercopa de Espana will be played in Saudi Arabia and there are proposals to move Spanish top flight fixtures abroad.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has organized Spanish top flight football’s season opener in China. They are now moving to hold a four-team Supercopa de Espana abroad, with the inaugural away tournament comprising of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

RFEF’s decision to organize the mini-tournament in the Arab state is justified through monetary reasons. Saudia is moving away from its past. Numerous sporting events, ranging from WWE to boxing matches are being organized there. The RFEF can receive much needed monetary inject by taking the Supercopa de Espana there.

In the wake of it, the idea of taking La Liga fixtures abroad is gathering pace. Miami has twice been touted as the possible location to host Spanish top flight fixtures. The league wants to host Villareal’s home fixture against Atletico Madrid to Florida. In the previous proposal,  Barcelona were to play Girona abroad.

RFEF supremo, Luis Rubiales, is staunchly against the idea. And the former defender did not shy away from voicing his concerns.

“Only the Supercopa can leave Spain,” Rubiales told the press.”Domestic league matches can’t leave our borders.”

“The players asked us that, if we [played the Supercopa outside of] Spain, it would be with a smooth time difference.”

“Playing [with a time difference of] two hours isn’t the same as six hours. We’ve looked out for the health and the calendar. For economic viability.”

Bad Idea

La Liga enjoys plenty of fan fare but it does not command the same television revenues as offered to the English Premier League. Moving fixtures abroad seems like a practical idea, it does not seem as the right way forward.

The biggest concern is for the home fans. As it stands watching on television is not the same as being in the stadium.

Traveling to and from the venues will be a hassle. Teams find it difficult to adjust after traveling within Europe for Champions League and Europa League. Fixtures with cross Atlantic journeys will likely have bigger toll on their league performances.

The league has previously tried to host matches earlier to cater to a larger audiences in Asia. Top Spanish teams played each other at noon under scorching heat. The expeirnce was bad for the players and tickey paying spectators.

As it stands, Rubiales is right.

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