Spanish Super Cup: Saudi Arabia to host Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia

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Spanish Super Cup
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos (left), Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya (second left), Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets (second right) and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez were present at Monday’s Spanish Super Cup draw

The Spanish Super Cup tournament will be played in Saudi Arabia in January 2020, the national football association (RFEF) said on Monday.

Some barriers remain and several women activists have been put on trial, although RFEF president Luis Rubiales said he could guarantee no restrictions would be placed on women attending the matches.

An RFEF statement said the tournament would “ease fixture congestion” and allow clubs “to be able to better plan their pre-seasons”.

“The internationalisation of the competition will increase its value and contribute to raising our visibility and improving our image ahead of our bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” added RFEF.

However, in September, former Spain women’s international Veronica Boquete heavily criticised the decision, saying it represented “the victory of money and business above sport, above everything else”.

Spanish Super Cup
The Spanish Super Cup was last played in August 2018 when it was just a two-team event, with Barcelona beating Sevilla 2-1 in a match played in Tangier, Morocco

The tournament features the previous season’s top two teams in La Liga, as well as the winners and runners-up of the Copa del Rey, or the teams finishing third and fourth in La Liga.

Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid and Valencia will take on Real Madrid in the revamped tournament between 8-12 January, with the two winners meeting in a final.

La Liga’s president Javier Tebas opposed the RFEF’s choice of host, saying channel beoutQ carried pirated broadcasts in Saudi Arabia of global sports events, including Spanish football.

Italy’s Supercoppa Italiana was held in Saudi Arabia in January with Juventus beating AC Milan 1-0, and Juventus will face Lazio in Riyadh on 22 December.

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