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La Liga chief defends decision to play games on Spain's Three Kings' Day

General view of the stadium prior to the La Liga game between Valencia CF and Real Betis.
Valencia welcome Girona to the Mestalla on Jan. 6.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has defended the decision that has led to Valencia's home game against Girona being played on Spain's Three Kings' Day.

The encounter at the Mestalla, which corresponds to the 18th round of La Liga fixtures, will take place on Saturday Jan. 6 at 4.15 p.m. CET. That day has special significance in Spain as it is when children receive their gifts from the Three Kings.

Marca asked Valencia fans in a poll to vote if they were happy to have their team play on that day and that time, and 63 percent were against, while 37 percent were in favour.

"It's one of the best schedules so that a team becomes a great one," Tebas is quoted as saying by Marca. "It's a good time for those in Asia and in the United States to watch it, and you shall see how that day there will also be people watching Valencia.

"No one is happy when you have to play these strange rounds, but one has to play. You have to play on a weekend and it's just so happens that it's the day of the Three Kings."

It is the second time in three years that Valencia will play a game on that date and at that time, as in January 2016 they defeated Granada 4-0 in a Copa del Rey clash with only 15,000 fans turning up to watch the game at the Mestalla.

Also taking place on Jan. 6, 2018 is Atletico Madrid's home game against neighbours Getafe, Sevilla's hosting of city rivals Real Betis and Eibar's trip to Las Palmas.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


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