Spanish League launches legal bid to extend season

May 3, 2006

MADRID, May 3 (Reuters) - The Spanish Football League (LFP) is to appeal against a FIFA decision preventing it from extending the Primera Liga season.

"We are taking this decision in order to safeguard the purity of the competition," a spokesman for the LFP told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow we will present an appeal against the FIFA ruling in a Zurich court."

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) had proposed extending the season until May 20 in order to accommodate the rescheduled match between Sevilla and Barcelona which was postponed on April 23 because of a water-logged pitch.

World body FIFA rejected the proposal to play all 10 final league games then because it would breach an agreement made to finish the domestic season by May 15 in order to allow national team squads time to prepare for the World Cup.

They did, however, allow the Sevilla-Barcelona match to be played a week after the end of the season on May 20, but without any players involved in the World Cup.

Spanish clubs who run the LFP complain that the FIFA decision will give Sevilla an unfair advantage because Barca will almost certainly have won the league by then and will be shorn of most of their first-team squad who are involved in the World Cup.

They want the Barcelona-Sevilla match to be played on May 13 and the final round of games to take place the following weekend with the involvement of international players.