Athletic Football Returns To Friday Nights As La Liga Scheduling Drama Continues
Fans of Spanish football have grown increasingly frustrated over the past few years as the league has routinely scheduled matches on Friday and Monday nights. The late kickoffs have made it difficult for fans to attend games, especially on Mondays, and some have even held demonstrations rebuking the league. Last season it seemed as though a resolution was coming, but once again there is drama.
After constant outcry last season, Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales announced that he would be working with La Liga to get rid of matches on Monday and Friday nights. By Matchday 29, Monday night games were eliminated with other improvements said to follow. The two Federations planned to meet throughout the summer to fully get rid of Monday night games and come to an agreement on limiting Friday night fixtures as much as possible, or possibly even altogether.
La Liga finally announced the schedules for the first three weeks of the season on Friday morning and there was an immediate problem. The opening weekend of the league saw Athletic hosting Barcelona on Friday night and two games scheduled for Monday evening. Furthermore, the Basque Derby against Real Sociedad will also take place on a Friday night at San Mamés. In total, the first three weeks of the campaign will see five matches on Friday nights and another three on Monday evenings.
The schedule is certainly frustrating for Athletic who have played more Monday/Friday matches than any other club in the Primera over the past five years. Athleticzales have long accused the league of purposefully scheduling so many of these fixtures, but there is an even bigger problem at hand. Monday night matches were supposed to be eliminated this season and Fridays should have been limited.
After the schedules were announced, RFEF President Luis Rubiales immediately took so social media to criticize the league. He claimed that La Liga doesn’t have the authorization of the RFEF to schedule Monday night matches or Fridays without prior agreement. Rubiales also claimed that there will be justice which means that this story is far from over.