By Richard Martin
BARCELONA (Reuters) – La Liga has rescheduled matches on the last day of the season to avoid clashing with the Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and holders Olympique Lyonnais on May 18, a spokesman for the organisation told Reuters.
The 10 fixtures were all due to start at 1830 local time (1630 GMT), half an hour after kick off in the showpiece women’s game in Budapest, which is the first time the competition’s final will be played in a separate city to the men’s final.
The scheduling clash provoked criticism on social media as Barca’s men’s side, who have already secured the Liga title, would be in action away to Eibar at the same time as the club’s women’s team play in their first European final.
Spanish media reports said Barcelona had asked for the league games to be played at a different time.
La Liga issued a statement on Tuesday saying it had modified its schedule and the games would now take place at 2000 local time on the same day, shortly after the Women’s Champions League final is due to finish as long as it does not go to extra time.
“The change in scheduling is because of the Women’s Champions League final, which is a historic occasion for Spanish women’s football,” said a La Liga spokesman.
Lyon will be aiming for a record-extending fourth Champions League title in a row and sixth in total.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)