Barcelona v Real Madrid a national problem – La Liga president

La Liga president Javier Tebas has called El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid as a national problem, not just one for the league.

The match had been scheduled to be played at the Blaugrana’s Camp Nou stadium on 26 October but due to the current volatility of the situation, La Liga asked that the game be reversed to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

That proposal has been rejected by both clubs involved and with such a fluid period of unrest in Catalonia, the most likely option was always that it would be pushed back by two months, with the date of 18 December confirmed by the Spanish FA this week.

The Spanish FA, as supported by the clubs, have pushed for the date of 18 December but La Liga instead had been arguing for 7 December, with the Real Madrid-Espanyol and Barcelona-Mallorca matches, scheduled for that weekend, be played on Wednesday 4 December.

The date of Wednesday 18 December coincides with the Copa del Rey – when neither of the giants will be playing, but La Liga wanted a weekend date for maximum TV exposure. 

“El Clasico issue is a state problem, I don't see it as only a Barcelona problem,” Tebas told reporters during an event, as cited by ESPN FC.

“We wanted to reverse the fixture of the games in order to delay (the game at the Camp Nou) as much as possible, December 18 has not been chosen with La Liga being in agreement.

“What we knew from the police and from our information was the it was dangerous to play on October 26. I don't know what data Barcelona have to say that this date, December 18, could be more dangerous.

“For us, it is important that it was played at the weekend and in midday but it was not to be, the kick-off time for the first El Clasico is always selected taking Asia into account.

“Now as it will be a night-time game, there are many countries that will miss it. From Saudi Arabia to Japan and all the way to Australia they will be sleeping.”

La Liga have subsequently released a statement that they will be challenging the process of selecting a new El Clasico date in the courts.

Tags El Clasico