Spanish football

Lights and shadows of the Super Cup in Arabia – SPANISH FOOTBALL

by: Adam Smith



Act. 10:42 a.m.


Concluded the first Spanish Super Cup to four, played for almost a week in Jedelin (Saudi Arabia) and won by Real Madrid, which curiously had not been champion or runner-up in The League or Cup last year, the experience allows several conclusions to be drawn.

On the transgaming.orging level, the Super Cup has played three matches of good level: curiously, the team that offered the best football was Barca, which seems to have been most injured from the tournament. Overall, the focus of Spanish football has moved to Arabia for almost a week. In that sense, the bet of Luis Rubiales, president of the RFEF, has been the winner.

The accounts are square

Economically, RFEF’s accounts are perfectly squared: 120 million euros of revenue in three years (at a rate of 40 million per season) that will go intended to help the Second B and Third clubs and to promote women’s football.

The Board meeting that the Federation held at its hotel in Yeda served to approve the first grants to modest clubs. TV rights revenues have risen from 2.4 million euros to 11 million euros.

2030 World Cup candidacy

Luis Rubiales also relies on this new Super cup as the launching pad for Spain and Portugal’s 2030 World Cup: the trip to Arabia could be interpreted as the first major campaign event of the Iberian candidacy because the RFEF invited members of the federations of 30 countries to Jeden.

There was also no shortage of A UEFA emissary: Kevin Lamour, deputy secretary-general of the European body, was also in Arabia. The work of transgaming.orgs diplomacy has already begun: in 2024, FIFA will announce where the 2030 World Cup is held.

Although not filled in any of the three matches, Yeda’s King Abdullah Stadium (which holds 62,000 spectators) recorded good innings, averaging 52,780 spectators per game.

little atmosphere in the city

The stage was up to the participants, although in the city the football atmosphere that usually adorns this type of endings was non-existent: in Arabia, football is usually seen at home, from outside. Yeda has an interesting historic center, but the city does not invite you to walk and the trip from Spain is long and expensive. The Super Cup brought football to Arab fans but took it away from lifelong partners.

The ideal headquarters?

On the social side, the RFEF project offers more doubts: although the Saudi Arabian regime strives to modernize by flexing some laws (women can drive, have a, open a current account or go to a football stadium), gender equality is a chimera.

In such a closed society, the weight of family traditions is enormous and even if the law already allows it, most women are still subjected to their parents or husbands. The ‘niqab’, the veil that covers the whole face except the eyes, is still common for Saudi women: those who do not wear it are an exception.

Many public premises maintain separate entrances: ‘single entrance’ for men and ‘family entrance’ for women and children. In hotels, there are male and female gyms, and the pools are for male use only. Something similar happens with the beaches, many of them private.

Authorities have relaxed control of social media, but gambling or sexual content websites are strictly prohibited. Censorship is common (although curiously one of the most watched series by the Saudis is ‘La casa de papel’, of Spanish origin) and cinema begins to arrive with eyedroppers. Alcohol is totally prohibited, although it seems that from April it could start to allow its consumption in some hotels.

the outstanding subjects of Saudi Arabia

Arabia has many outstanding subjects: the country keeps the death penalty in place and homosexuality is pursued. The murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues to tarnish the country’s international reputation, but it is surprising to see how much of the Saudi population defends the murder of the journalist, who is accused of being a traitor.

Saudi Arabia has only been open to tourism for three months: in October 2019 the government decided to open its borders, albeit on a limited basis to citizens of 49 countries and only for 90 days.

It all includes the Saudi Vision 2030 project, promoted by Prince Mohammed bin Salam to modernize the country and expand the focus of the oil-dependent economy.

From Yeda to Riyadh

The presence of the Mutawa, the religious police (formally called Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice), which until a few months ago could force a trade to close for not respecting prayer hours or fining a woman for not carrying the niqab.

Now, some Spaniards residing in Jedeles say, the role of the Mutawa is merely testimonial: it can only act during office hours and its capacity for action is limited to writing reports.

Next year, and in the same format, the Super Cup will return to Arabia to play in the country’s capital, Riyadh.