The agreement between the Spanish football governing body and Saudi Arabia will last for three years
The governing body for football in Spain, Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), confirmed the long-kept secret of having the Spanish Super Cup moved out from Spain. Saudi Arabia has been confirmed as the host nation for the 2019-20 edition which will include the likes of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.
Moreover, as part of the agreement that has been signed between the Saudi authorities and the RFEF, women will be allowed to watch the games without any sort of restrictions in an otherwise conservative country in that region.
A spokesperson for the RFEF released the following statement regarding the announcement which read, “Saudi women will be allowed to attend the three games freely, without restrictions and wearing whatever clothes they feel is appropriate. There will not be an area of the stadium specifically set aside for them and that is written in the contract.”
“It will not be the Super Cup of shame. We have an agreement with the Saudi Federation to also stage a women’s tournament there and that is something we will do. We are going to Saudi Arabia because it is good for Spanish football and it’s important for us to be recognized even more because we want to host a World Cup with Portugal,” the statement further read.
It was reported that Gerard Pique played the role of a mediator through his sports event company Kosmos between the Saudi authorities and the Spanish governing body. But it was later denied by the latter that the Barcelona defender acted in an official capacity.
India, China and Qatar were the other options
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia had competition from India, China and Qatar but were awarded the hosting rights owing to a better financial offer as compared to the other nations. It is surprising how India was overlooked by the Spanish authorities since their attempts at growing the La Liga presence in the country.
In India, an initiative with Facebook was launched to broadcast live matches on the social networking site in order to reach a larger audience. Moreover, a commitment to open La Liga schools was also put into motion at a recent meet. Therefore, this comes as a setback for the football fraternity in India which must have expected to be considered as the host nation.
The talk of hosting Women’s Super Cup have not yet taken off but if it also follows suit and moves out of Spain then India must do it’s best to grab the hosting rights. It will generate traction for La Liga and also help promote women’s football in the country.
However, the RFEF sources released a statement in that regard which could be seen as another setback for India. The source said that, “We have spoken this year for the first time about a Women’s Super Cup, and also about playing it abroad. The first one has to be played in Spain, then we’ll see. Saudi Arabia could be an option in the future.”