Saudi Arabia could become home to one of Spanish football’s most prestigious matches, with the Saudi government in talks with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to host the Spanish Super Cup for the next six years.
The annual match between the previous year’s La Liga champion and Copa del Rey winners is a landmark in the Spanish footballing calendar but the format has undergone several changes in recent years.
Now the RFEF is looking to move the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi government offering €30 million a year in a six-year deal.
No agreement has yet been reached, and the decision rests with RFEF, but La Liga is firmly opposed to the plans.
“La Liga’s general assembly has agreed to not support the changes,” the organisation announced in a statement shortly after the proposals were revealed. “These types of changes should be agreed to by La Liga as they affect clubs belonging to the league and they imply an important change to the professional competition calendar.”
As well as relocating the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, the RFEF also wants to move it from its traditional season-opening spot to the following January.
The proposals also include expanding the Super Cup to a four-team knockout competition, featuring both Copa del Rey finalists and the top two teams from La Liga.
Both the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey are controlled by RFEF, and La Liga has no official influence over the changes, but 39 of the 42 clubs voted against the proposals, with another abstaining.
The 2018 edition of the Super Cup also saw a change of format, with the traditional home and away legs replaced by a single match at a neutral venue, with Tangier in Morocco hosting.
The RFEF will reach a decision over the new proposals on 29 April, with China also named in Spanish media as a possible location for the revamped Super Cup.
Saudi Arabia hosted the Italian equivalent in January 2019 as Serie A champions Juventus beat AC Milan 1-0 at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.