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Super Cup in Saudi part of football's desire to make money - Barca coach

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on January 9, 2020 - Duration: 00:34s

Super Cup in Saudi part of football's desire to make money - Barca coach

Ernesto Valverde says the Spanish Super Cup is in Saudi Arabia due to the football industry's desire to find more revenue streams.

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Super Cup in Saudi part of football's desire to make money - Barca coach

SHOWS: JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA (JANUARY 8, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH ERNESTO VALVERDE SAYING: "I know this has a lot of resonance, that there's been much commentary, but we have to take into account that the football that we're in is an industry, that is always looking for sources of income and that's why we're really here, and there are some special connotations with this country, there also were with Morocco and we played there.

Obviously, it's not the same as playing at home, but here we are." STORY: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has concerns with the new format of the Spanish Super Cup and said that playing the competition in Saudi Arabia is a consequence of the football industry's desire to find more revenue streams as his side prepare to face Atletico Madrid on Thursday (January 9).

The Super Cup traditionally kickstarted the season in Spain with a two-legged contest between the Copa del Rey winners and La Liga champions although the 2018 edition was played as a one-off game in Tangier, Morocco.

Last year the Spanish football federation (RFEF) agreed to double the number of teams and take the competition outside Spain permanently as well as moving it from August to January.

The federation has signed a three-year deal to play the competition in Saudi Arabia, which Spanish media say is worth 40 million euros ($44 million) annually.

The move has been criticised by supporters' groups for excluding the teams' traditional fanbase and from campaign groups such as Amnesty International due to the conservative Muslim kingdom's record on human rights.

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