MADRID: Saudi Arabia will host the reimagined Spanish Super Cup from 2020 until 2022.
According to multiple reports in Spain, Spanish soccer’s governing body will earn a whopping €120 million (US$131 million) from the three-year deal, which the federation said will be reinvested entirely into amateur soccer in Spain.
Traditionally played between the champions of LaLiga, Spanish soccer’s top flight, and the winners of the previous season’s Copa del Rey knockout tournament, the Spanish Super Cup will now feature four clubs.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia will be the first teams to take part in the competition, with semi-finals and a final to be played from 8th to 12th January at the 62,000-capacity King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah.
An RFEF statement said the tournament was being held in winter ‘in order to lighten the calendar of competitions’ and allow Spanish clubs to ‘plan their pre-season better’.
The Spanish Super Cup is the latest in a growing list of sporting events to be awarded to Saudi Arabia despite the country’s human rights record and the ongoing saga involving pirate broadcaster BeoutQ.
The deal between the RFEF and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) does stipulate that women will be allowed to attend the tournament without restrictions, while it also calls for the launch of a new women’s soccer competition in the region.
However, Spain’s acting junior minister for sport, Maria Jose Rienda, said when reports first broke that the government would not support hosting the tournament “in countries where women’s rights are not respected”.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas, meanwhile, has previously opposed the idea of the Spanish Super Cup being staged in Saudi Arabia given that BeoutQ has been illegally broadcasting the league’s fixtures in the country.
Despite that, the Spanish Super Cup will now be the second major European soccer tournament of its kind to be staged in Saudi Arabia in the coming months. The confirmation comes just a week after Lega Serie A announced that the Supercoppa Italiana will be held in the gulf nation for the second consecutive year as part of the Italian body’s partnership with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority (GSA).
In other RFEF news, the federation has also resolved its dispute with Adidas, the kit supplier for Spain’s national teams, by signing a four-year extension with the German sportswear giant until 2030.
The RFEF had said in May that it was prepared to terminate the deal early and that it had already approached potential new partners, prompting Adidas to launch legal proceedings against the federation.
However, according to Spanish industry outlet Palco23, the RFEF changed its stance due to the risk of having to pay millions in compensation to terminate the existing deal.
The current contract between the RFEF and Adidas is not due to expire until 2026 and is worth a reported €18 million (US$19.85 million) a year.
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