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SBD Global/January 13, 2014/International Football

Spanish Football League, Spanish Government Roll Out LFP World Challenge

La Liga plans to showcase players such as Cristiano Ronaldo to the rest of the world.
Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas and Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) President Miguel Cardenal on Thursday presented the "LFP World Challenge," a new project debuting in "collaboration with Spanish businesses with the goal of spreading the values of football and business internationally," according to Juan Jiménez of AS. Tebas: "The objective is to generate confidence and value in the Spanish brand and football can play a part in this. La Liga puts Spain's brand on a global level. For example, El Clásico [Real Madrid-Barcelona] has 400 million spectators. All our clubs are going to unite with this global experience, so that Spain's brand can keep growing." The tournament will "take place over three years with the first phase, called the 'Time of Challenge,' taking place this summer."  During the '15-16 season, a "Challenger Select Series" will see more games, with "non-Spanish teams invited to play." Tebas said of the tournament's first destinations, "We will travel to Houston, New York, Mexico City, [fellow Mexican cities] Monterrey and Guadalajara, as well as Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Malaysia and Turkey. ... There is no financial value if we do not go out around the world" (AS, 1/9). In Madrid, José Maria Rodríguez of MARCA reported together with each game, a business event called "The Spanish Experience" will be held to help "Spanish businesses expand outside Spain" (MARCA, 1/9). WORLD SOCCER reported La Liga plans to "showcase players" such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the rest of the world. Cardenal explained how the games were a "chance for Spanish clubs -- many of whom would now be bankrupt if the government collected the back taxes owed to them -- to do something positive for the currently troubled Spanish economy" (WORLD SOCCER, 1/10).
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