La Liga’s appeal over World Cup qualifiers extension rejected by CAS

The Court of Arbitration has rejected La Liga’s complaint against players being mandated to play World Cup qualifiers in South America, according to FIFA.

La Liga criticised the CAS ruling in a statement, calling FIFA’s decision a “plain declaration of intent to intervene in autonomous national leagues”.

The league also responded by shifting fixtures for the corresponding weekend, moving Real Madrid-Celta Vigo and Espanyol-Atletico Madrid from Saturday September 11 to Sunday, September 12 and requesting for Sevilla-Barcelona and Villarreal-Alaves, both set for September 11, to be postponed.

The fixture change allows players involved in the World Cup qualifiers to play for their clubs but causes more disruption to the teams, who are all due to play in the Champions League the following Tuesday and Wednesday.

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La Liga had appealed against global football governing body FIFA’s extension to the international window for World Cup qualifiers by two days because it meant players participating in the matches would be unable to turn out for their clubs when Spain’s domestic fixtures resume on September 11.

FIFA welcomed the decision by CAS, it said in a statement.

World football’s governing body announced earlier this month that fixtures missed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic would be played in September and October, and increased the CONMEBOL international window by two days until September 10.

It cited extensive travel and player safety as the reasons for the extension.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid were all due to play league fixtures 24 hours later and on Thursday LaLiga said it had held a meeting with all concerned teams, who agreed not to release their players for international duty.

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