The Federation renews its contract with Saudi Arabia until 2029 while Amnesty International asks the teams for a gesture.
“Super Cup? Football?”. To the young clerk of a small mobile phone shop in Riyadh the matter sounded like Chinese. Maybe he wasn’t a football fan, which he can be too. But they didn’t know much more about a couple of taxi drivers, clinging to limited English, who sped down the asphalt of the Saudi capital. Beyond the pennants with the shields of the four teams (including the Atlético classic) that provided some atmosphere in the reception of the Hotel Vittori Palace, where the press is housed, there were hardly any signs of life from the Spanish Super Cup. At least, in that corner of a vast city where more than seven million people live.
And yet, on Monday, in less than an hour, the 30,000 tickets available for the first classic in Saudi Arabia were sold out. Two years after the failed attempt in 2020, where Atlético derailed Barcelona and, hours later, Ernesto Valverde in the semifinals. Prices ranged from nine (38 Saudi riyals) to 590 euros (2,500), for those fans who bet on a VIP night at the King Fahd Stadium, raised in 1987, when nobody imagined that it would be the scene of a Spanish tournament. Nor that he would end up seeing women within his walls, because that is how it is established to happen throughout the week. Normality in much of the planet is not normal in Riyadh.
Anyone who wants to attend the classic, yes, must do so with a negative CRP ahead. The restrictions due to the pandemic have reduced its capacity to 50%, above 60,000 spectators under normal circumstances. So much Real Madrid What Barcelona, too Athletic Y AthleticThey also have a small number of passes for their commitments. There the three games of this second Super Cup will be played thousands of kilometers from Spain.
Agreement until 2029
In any case, those who have not yet found out that this tournament is being held in Riyadh will have until 2029 to do so. Until that date, the RFEF expanded the agreement with Saudi Arabia, by providing its president, Luis rubiales, of the necessary powers after receiving the support of the assembly. An exile, yes, which is not free. Each edition will translate into 40 million euros. Will be 360 kilos for the nine editions (the first was held in Jeddah in 2020) signed with the Arab country. Each team receives 800,000 euros simply for participating, the finalist will go to 1.4 million and the champion will go up to both. From the Federation they transmit that these dizzying figures are destined for non-professional football. That for a good part of the teams, that pinch supposes up to 50% of their budget.
But the image of Saudi Arabia, under the magnifying glass for the recurrent violation of human rights, habitually distorts the gesture of the planet. Money cannot bury many of the injustices that occur there. From International Amnesty They denounce the situation experienced by women and LGTBI people, still far from having rights similar to those of men. Homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment and adultery even carries penalties of flogging. Little (or nothing) has changed the panorama since the first episode of the Super Cup, in 2020. Amnesty has requested a gesture from the four participating clubs: to wear a purple bracelet not only during the match, but in any public appearance during the week that the tournament lasts. In the RFEF they say they know the petition only from the press and in Atlético they have no news of having received any vindictive badge.
“You don’t think about the amateur”
“The creation of an entirely female competition was one of the points of the agreement to come to Arabia and it has been fulfilled,” they highlight from the Spanish Federation, where they add that since the agreement, training has been given to coaches and referees in the country. That was one of the important parts of the deal signed in 2019 and now extended to continue the tournament under the same scenery for a decade.
Among the protagonists, there is a voice that has roared against: that of Raul garcia. It doesn’t make sense to me. It is a championship that is played in our country and going to another country does not make sense. We have forgotten the basics and we no longer think about the fans, “lamented the Athletic footballer, who will face his former Atlético teammates tomorrow. A little over a year ago he raised the trophy on the La Cartuja lawn. He did it there because of the pandemic.
The Show It will resume tonight (8:00 p.m. Spanish time) at the King Fahd stadium in Riyadh, the most populous city in Arabia. With that longed-for classic in the desert. With a handful of criticisms that the millions cannot muffle.
Reference from elmundo