x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Next Primera Liga round of matches postponed

The next round of Spanish Primera Liga matches has been postponed due to an ongoing dispute over television revenue.

MADRID // The next round of Spanish Primera Liga matches has been postponed due to an ongoing dispute over television revenue.

In a statement, the league cited a "lack of progress" in talks involving the Spanish government to resolve the problem.

"The board of the First Division Football League (LFP) was informed late on Tuesday, March 22 of a lack of progress in the negotiations the league has initiated with the Government, the Higher Sports Council and parliamentary groups involving a grievance with respect to other sectors," said a league statement tonight.

"Therefore, the LFP has upheld the decision taken at the last General Assembly on 11 February, which agreed to postpone the round to be played on April 3 until there is a palpable evolution in dialogue."

The games will instead be played on June 12, three weeks after the league is currently scheduled to end.

Spanish clubs have demanded that a law which required at least one game a week to be broadcast on terrestrial free-to-air television be revoked.

The stoppage will affect both the Primera Liga and the Segunda Division, although not all clubs support the move and reports in Spain tonight said there may be further legal moves by clubs who want to play.

Marca, the Madrid-based newspaper, reported that six clubs — Sevilla, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Espanyol and Real Zaragoza — have asked a court in Madrid to order the games to go ahead.

Secretary of State for Sport Jaime Lissavetzky also made "a call to reason" for games to be played.

"We've been sitting with the League and we have considered many things," he said. "The main losers are the citizens and football players because the competition has been extended by about 20 days.

"I hope common sense prevails, and we maintain our readiness to defend the interests of citizens."