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VVV-Venlo VVV-Venlo VVV

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PSV PSV PSV

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FC Emmen FC Emmen EMM

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Heracles Heracles HCL

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Ajax Ajax AA

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Sparta de Rotterdam Sparta de Rotterdam SPR

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ADO Den Haag ADO Den Haag ADO

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Waalwijk Waalwijk WAA

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El Clásico missed its chance

No weekday football. As the tango says, 'the muscle sleeps, the ambition rests...' We are not used to being without this drug for five consecutive days and it starts to feel strange, especially as midweek games usually carry even greater emotion, wrapped up in the paper of European competitions. This was the week that Tebas had put forward for El Clásico, once the decision was made postpone it from 26 October due to the post-court-ruling riots in Barcelona. But Madrid, Barça and the Federation preferred it to be the week after, on the 18th.

Clásico unnecessary change

What a shame. It is a rare occasion to find an empty week in which El Clásico could have captured its tremendous interest without interference and without interfering. It was rejected for ‘sporting reasons’. Barça, apart from the fact that the change of date didn't make any sense for them, are now hindered due to it coming after the Atlético-Barça game, and the Ballon d'Or awards, for which they knew that several players would have to travel. For their part, Madrid did not want any turbulence the week before the game in Brugge, one which had appeared could be decisive. As it turned out, it is not, as subsequent results have already decided the group.

A classic venue | Camp Nou

A classic venue | Camp Nou

A snide swipe at Tebas

Where the Clásico falls is clearly disruptive. That week the new Copa del Rey format begins, with a tie that pits 10 regional teams against 10 top flight teams. A daring formula that will now not have the attention that it deserves, so much so that almost all of the games have been pushed back or forward a day to fall on the 17th or 19th, and minimise the audience loss absorbed by the main rivalry. Even taking into consideration the fears of Barça and Madrid about the originally scheduled game, a decision Rubiales supported, I worry that by doing so they have also fed their desire to put another one over Tebas, something that all three of them rather enjoy.