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La Liga new season kick-off suffers delay

The commencement of the new La Liga season has been thrown into jeopardy just days before the planned kick-off on Friday night between Granada and Athletic Club Bilbao.

The two sides were set to start the 2020/21 campaign on Friday evening but the Spanish FA have now moved to attempt to block the date due to their opposition to matches in the time slot, as per a report in Marca.

The story makes the front page of Wednesday’s edition of the Madrid daily, and brings fresh controversy into Spanish football.

There has been a long-running dispute between the two bodies, with the league a strong advocate of using the time slots of Friday and Monday evenings for matches with Spanish football’s governing body opposed.

La Liga have begun utilising the time slots for the opening weeks of the 2020/21 La Liga season but the Spanish FA are now said to be confident on blocking those games, meaning they will either be rescheduled or postponed.

Last season, Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales was successful in a campaign to make the matchday free of football – a decision popular with fans, who felt the time slot was unsociable for family and work purposes.

However, La Liga chief Javier Tebas continued to support the idea of playing Monday and Friday night matches as he believed that a variety of time slots makes the league more attractive to broadcasters and therefore increased streams of revenue for clubs.

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The two institutions have remained deeply divided on a number of issues including scheduling with both laying claim to holding power in its decision-making.

La Liga was allowed to use the time slots for the closing weeks of the 2019/20 campaign due to the absence of fans and desire to get the schedule completed as swiftly as possible, but that has left a power void and new collision going into this campaign.

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