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Volume 6 No. 264
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La Liga President Says Catalonia Crisis Is Holding Up Talks To Renew Int'l TV Deals

La Liga President Javier Tebas said that the "political upheaval from Catalonia’s proposed split from Spain has held up negotiations" to renew the league's int'l TV rights deals, according to Richard Martin of REUTERS. Tebas said, "When you are selling something you need to know it's the right moment and we decided now is not the moment to sell our television rights. We are not just selling them in Spain and Europe -- we have to think about India, Singapore, Turkey and other countries, so we've delayed it by a few weeks. It might be better in the long run as now is not a good time." Tebas "has repeatedly declared his opposition to Catalonia's drive for independence." He conceded that "Barcelona’s hypothetical departure would have a big impact on the league's coffers." Tebas: "La Liga would lose around 20 percent of its income if Real Madrid or Barcelona left. We're talking about a problem that could have a huge impact on our competition, even though I don’t think (Catalonia splitting from Spain) will occur. ... The problem of independence is not new. It’s been there for a long time. We decided that given everything that is being said in international media it was the time to take a pause. In a couple of weeks the issue will be settled" (REUTERS, 10/17).

GUARDIOLA SENDS MESSAGE: ESPN.com's Adriana Garcia reported Man City Manager Pep Guardiola dedicated his team's 2-1 Champions League win over Napoli to "two pro-Catalan independence leaders imprisoned since Monday in Madrid for charges of sedition." The former Barcelona manager, who has been "actively involved in the political campaign for pro-Catalan independence, had words of support" for Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, the leaders of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, respectively. He said, "It's a good time to dedicate them this win. We have shown in Catalonia that citizenship is bigger than any ideas" (ESPN.com, 10/18). In London, Paul Hirst reported the Spanish government "hit back" at Guardiola. Spanish government spokesperson Íñigo Méndez de Vigo said, "His opinion on politics is like mine on nuclear physics. Guardiola’s opinions about politics are his and I don’t share them" (LONDON TIMES, 10/18).