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SBD Global/August 6, 2012/International Football

La Liga Managers Not Pleased With The LFP's Decision To Have Late Kickoffs

La Liga Mallorca Manager Joaquin Caparros spoke out against the late kick-off times for the first two weekends of La Liga's season, according to EUROPA PRESS. The league recently announced that the first couple of weeks of the season would see some games starting as late as 11pm London time. Caparros said, "We have to put our foot down. The people who devise these kick-off times have their own agenda, and Spanish football deserves better treatment when it comes to this subject. Above all, the fans deserve better. Soon they'll be scheduling games at midnight." He added: "We have to put a stop to these crazy kick-off times because we want everyone to be able to enjoy football. Fortunatly children don't have to go to school at this time of year, but we have to think about the impact of playing games at this time" (EP, 8/4). AS reported that Atletico Madrid Manager Diego Simeone was also displeased. Simeone said, "Whoever organized these kick-off times is a joker. When I opened up the newspaper and read that we'd be playing matches at 23:00 I started laughing" (AS, 8/3). AS also reported that in response to the heavy criticism, La Liga's organizational body the LFP released a statement "explaining the reasoning behind the late kick-off times." It reads: "The players need to be protected from the high temperatures of mid-August, and so the AFE (the player's union) asked us to make sure that no games started before 19:00. Therefore we have to schedule games at unusual times in August. Kick-off times will return to the usual times as of the third weekend of the season" (AS, 8/3).
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