Court Action Prevents La Liga Strike

There will be no disruption to the Spanish football calendar after all. The Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), the governing body in control of La Liga, had been threatening to postpone this weekend's fixtures in order to protest against a Spanish law that requires there to be at least one free televised match per round of games. Having football free on terrestrial television is of course a major obstacle in securing lucrative broadcasting deals with paid TV channels, so the LFP was attempting to put pressure on the government to rescind the law and let the clubs do what they wanted to.

It didn't work, thanks to a legal action launched by six of the twenty sides that make up La Liga. Sevilla, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Espanyol and Real Zaragoza banded together to challenge the league's decision. In a statement released by the clubs, they claimed that a walkout would be illegal:

A strike would be disproportionate, inopportune, against the interest of clubs, the competition and supporters and, what's more, against the law.

Although the statement indicates that the rebellious sides are against a strike on moral grounds, one suspects they might be more concerned about the prospect of extending the season by three weeks than anything else. Anyway, it the court agreed to uphold their challenge, and now the weekend's fixtures - including Villarreal vs. Barcelona and Real Madrid vs. Sporting Gijon - will go ahead as planned.

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