Spanish league postpones pair of games because of qualifiers

National Sports

MADRID (AP)Spain’s top sports authority on Tuesday accepted the Spanish league’s request to postpone a pair of weekend matches involving teams with players on international duty with South American nations.

The games between league leader Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao and second-place Atletico Madrid and Granada will be played at later dates to be determined. Madrid would be hosting Athletic, while Atletico was visiting Granada.

For a second time in a row, FIFA extended the international window to allow South American teams to play a third World Cup qualifier less than two days before domestic leagues were due to resume in Europe. That would keep some players from arriving back to their clubs with enough rest time to play in their league matches.

The league last month had already postponed the games between Barcelona and Sevilla and Villarreal and Alaves for the same reason.

The Spanish soccer federation has been against the postponements, saying it was ”a dangerous precedent for international sports” to have a domestic league suspend matches because players were called up by their national teams.

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