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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 9, 2006

Spanish league granted FIFA extension

MADRID, May 9 (Reuters) - FIFA has allowed Spanish football authorities to extend their league season until May 20 to deal with a fixtures pile-up.

FIFA had wanted all league games to be completed by this weekend to allow players involved in the World Cup to be released by May 15. The pile-up was caused by the postponement in April of the game between Sevilla, playing in the UEFA Cup final on Wednesday, and Barcelona.

World football's governing body has now given its go-ahead to a new match schedule which means the Sevilla v Barcelona game takes place this Saturday, as will those games that do not affect Champions League places.

The fixtures between Sevilla and Real Madrid, and Osasuna and Valencia will then be played on May 16 on the eve of the Champions League final when Barcelona play Arsenal.

Non-Barcelona players involved in the World Cup will be released on May 17, two days later than originally planned.

Barcelona's remaining game with Athletic Bilbao will be played on the weekend of May 20 without international players because there is no longer anything at stake in that match.

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