Football

The reason why British TV can't show El Clasico live this weekend

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Barcelona versus Real Madrid – arguably the biggest fixture in the entirety of football.

Therefore, you’d think such a clash would at least be televised live in the country that gave birth to the sport. Unbelievably though, you’d be wrong.

In fact, an FA ruling that was passed over half a century ago has stifled any chance of English viewers watching the latest El Clasico.

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Controversial decision

El Clasico is usually televised at least twice a season on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. With pundits such as Guillem Balague salivating at such a footballing feast, the corporate giant usually delivers extensive coverage and promotion.

Most of the time too, the game kicks off and is accordingly televised late on a Saturday night. La Liga weren’t in a traditional mood when it came to fixtures this season though.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s latest face-off will commence at 3:15pm UK time.

Such a decision collides with an FA law established in the 1960s that bans the live televising of football between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.

Consequently, supporters will have to wait until the end of the embargo to sink their teeth into the blockbuster clash. Sky Sports will be on hand to offer a replay of the entire game as soon as they legally can.

Reasoning

Why the decision to kick off during the embargo in the first place though?

Well, as the Mirror reports, it roots from a desire to favour Asian and American viewers. The unusual kick-off time ensures their body clocks won’t be thrown off course too much and that they can see Messi and Ronaldo in action.

Furthermore, it has allowed La Liga to present the game in over 100 nations; it’s simply a misfortune that the UK isn’t one of those.

The league’s president, Javier Tebas, elaborated by explaining: "The game will not be aired in England because of the TV embargo that is placed at that time.

"We had three windows we had considered, at 1pm, 4:15 pm and 6:30pm,” added Tebas. "We analysed those with our audiovisual team and to play at 6pm is too late in Asia while to play at 1pm is too early for the American market."

Missing out

Such an explanation won’t quell the sting however. Besides, albeit December, this particular El Clasico could have prominent permutations for the La Liga title race.

Just 13 games into the season and Real already sit an imperious six points clear of their Catalan rivals. Therefore, under the floodlights of the Nou Camp, Luis Enrique’s men can settle for nothing short of victory.

To see such an integral clash though, you’ll have to hold tight for an extra two hours and stay clear of social media.

Who do you think will win El Clasico - Real Madrid or Barcelona? Have YOUR say in the comment box below

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League

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