Friday, August 19, 2011

Strike brings pain to Spain over players' demand for emergency fund

It should have been a Super Sunday. The season was due to kick off with Spain's other clásico between two of only three clubs to have spent their entire histories in the first division. At 6pm, it was Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao, the latter under the new management of the fascinating Marcelo Bielsa. Then, at 8pm, there was a chance to see La Liga's latest force, Qatari-owned Málaga, with nine new signings and the league's third biggest budget, take on Barcelona at home. And finally, at 10pm, Real Betis were to make their top-flight return – against city rivals Sevilla in the most passionate derby in the country.

It should have been special but La Liga will not start this weekend. The players' union, the AFE, is in dispute with the league, the LFP, and has declared a strike.

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