La Liga chief Tebas steps down to restand for election

Javier Tebas. Photo by REUTERS.

Javier Tebas has announced that he will stand down as head of the Spanish football league (LFP) in a bid to win a third term as president in new elections.

"I have presented my resignation as president of La Liga in order to begin new presidential elections, in which I will be a candidate," Tebas said on Twitter.

Tebas, 57, was first named the president of the LFP, which runs Spain's two professional divisions, in 2013 before being re-elected three years later after resigning and then standing unopposed.

Elections to decide the new president were initially scheduled for October next year, but Tebas said in a letter to Spanish clubs that he had forced an early poll in order to "give the greatest level of stability" to the LFP.

Tebas cites the bidding for TV rights for 2022-25, which will begin "between March and June 2021 ... too close to the original election schedule".

"Over the years, we have followed a genuine strategy for our TV rights (it's not simply a case of results on the day of the competition, we are working with this in mind, we are preparing the market... and to do that we need time and stability within the institution)," said Tebas.

"We are talking about more than 1.2 billion euros ($1.33 billion)."

Tebas also said that he was concerned about LFP being able to negotiate with the Spanish government and European Union over policy "that affect our institution and interests".

"I don't think it's a very good idea to have a dialogue with other actors with a mandate that expires in a few months," he said. "The person who has to do it should do so with the backing of the clubs at least for four years."

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