Spanish Super Cup to be expanded to four teams and played abroad

Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup this season
Image: Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup this season

The Spanish Super Cup will be expanded to four teams, with two semi-finals and a final all to be played outside the country, the Spanish FA has announced.

The revamped tournament is set to start this August, with the winners and runners-up of both La Liga and the Copa del Rey qualifying under the new format proposed by Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales.

In the event that a team qualifies through both the league and the Copa del Rey, the vacant place would be taken by the team with the best historical record in the cup competition that had not already qualified for the Super Cup.

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales
Image: Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales

"We see an opportunity to promote the brand of Spain without attacking sporting principles," Rubiales told a news conference, without giving details of where the games in the "final four" format event would take place.

He added the proposals must first be approved by the federation's assembly at a meeting in April, and the RFEF also plans to open a global centre of excellence for referees in Madrid and create a committee to fight homophobia in football.

Rubiales broke with tradition last year by turning the season-opening clash between the La Liga champions and the Copa del Rey winners from a two-legged tie into a single game played in Tangier, Morocco, where Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-1.

Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-1 in Tangier in the Spanish Super Cup
Image: Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-1 in Tangier in the Spanish Super Cup

Rubiales opposes La Liga's plans to play Spanish top-flight games abroad and his organisation blocked a proposal to move a fixture between Girona and Barcelona to Miami last month.

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He said he saw no contradiction between moving the Super Cup abroad and "the basic principle that a home team should always play at their ground".

He added: "FIFA was very clear about opposing the Miami game. If they change their criteria we will have to do what they say but we still believe you break with the essence of sport if you prevent a team playing at home for financial motives."

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