Spanish broadcaster won’t bid for Super Cup in Saudi Arabia

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              Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his side's first goal with a penalty during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Celta at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
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MADRID (AP) — Spain’s national broadcaster says it will not bid for rights for the Spanish Super Cup because of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.

TVE sports chief Jesús Álvarez said on Thursday the broadcaster condemns how Saudi Arabia handles humanitarian issues, especially those involving women in sports.

The federation on Monday announced a three-year deal with Saudi Arabia for the newly expanded tournament that will be played in January with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Valencia.

On Wednesday, Spanish league president Javier Tebas criticized the federation’s decision to play in Saudi Arabia because of the kingdom’s backing of a satellite company that is allegedly behind the piracy of European match broadcasts.

“I don’t think it’s the best moment to play in Saudi Arabia. It’s a country that has been pirating us, pirating European soccer,” Tebas said. “It was the better offer (for the Super Cup) because it will be paid with money taken from European soccer.”

Spanish media said the federation’s contract to play in Saudi Arabia is worth 120 million euros ($132 million) for three years.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin recently advised European soccer teams not to play in countries “where the basic rights of women are not respected.”