Why European football is held in the Middle East… ‘The Power of Oil Money’

The 2022-2023 season Spanish Supercopa (Super Cup), which was held on the 15th (local time) as El Clasico, a confrontation between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, called the world’s best rivals, ended with Barcelona winning. .

However, what attracted more attention than Barcelona’s victory was the venue where the match was held.

The place where their famous match took place was the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which is 4,500 km away from Spain.

Why did the big match of European soccer take place in the Middle East, the periphery of soccer, and not in the mainland?

The Spanish Super Cup has been an event in which the winning team of the Primera Liga of the previous season and the winning team of the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) face each other in a home-and-away manner ahead of the opening of the regular season.

It was used as a means to draw attention to the new season and determine the best Spanish club team.

However, from the 2019-2020 season, the operation method has changed. The number of participating teams increased from two to four, and a tournament system was introduced.

As a result, the 2nd place in the regular league and the runner-up in the King’s Cup can also participate.

The biggest change is that the venue has been moved to a foreign country rather than Spain. The Spanish Super Cup, which was held in Morocco in 2018 as a single match, is being held in Saudi Arabia from the 2019-2020 season.

The Spanish Football Association moved to the oil money of so-called Middle Eastern countries.

The Spanish Football Association signed a three-year contract with Saudi Arabia in November 2019 to host the Super Cup. The contract amount was up to 40 million euros per year, which was an astronomical amount of 50 billion won at the time. 메이저놀이터

In addition, Saudi Arabia allowed female spectators to enter the event to increase interest in the event.

Regarding the changes to the Super Cup, the Spanish Football Association said, “So far, 80-90% of the Super Cup has been played with the same teams, making it an outdated match. A change was needed.” However, the reason for the change in the venue is considered to be the biggest factor in increasing profits.

The warm weather also played a part. As the Super Cup is held in the middle of winter, players can reduce the risk of injury and improve their performance by hosting it in the Middle East.

Moreover, as the final match of the Spanish Super Cup held this month was held as El Clasico with high interest from the crowd, the result of the match also recorded a box office hit.

World-class stars such as Karim Benzema, the main character of Ballon d’Or, Vinicius, Luka Modric, Robert Lewandowski, and Sergio Busquets started out and competed.

The Italian Super Cup, the Supercoppa Italiana, was also held in Saudi Arabia.

Italy has been actively using the Super Cup for promotional and commercial purposes long before Spain.

In 1992, six years after the first competition in 1988, I flew to Washington, USA. The 1990s was a time when Italy’s Serie A was at its peak, and interests aligned with the United States ahead of the 1994 World Cup.

Since then, it has been frequently held overseas in Libya, China (Beijing, Shanghai), Qatar (Doha), and Saudi Arabia.

In the last 10 years, the number of events held in Italy was 4, which is less than abroad.

Trope de Champion, the French Super Cup, prioritized being held overseas from the start. Games were held in Tunisia, Morocco, USA, Canada, China and Isfael.

Only the 2020-2021 season was held in Lens, France in the aftermath of Corona 19 that hit the world.

In the past, it was used as a means of publicity due to low awareness compared to the English Premier League (EPL) Serie A, Primera Liga, and Bundesliga in Europe, but now Paris Saint-Germain (which has the world’s best players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe) PSG) is taking advantage of overseas hosting as a box office card.

In the last 10 years, PSG has won the French Super Cup 9 times.

England’s Super Cup Community Shield, played by Son Heung-min (Tottenham), has yet to leave the mainland. At one time, like Italy and France, they promoted overseas events such as China, but it did not happen due to opposition from local fans.

The English Super Cup, which began in 1908 under the name of Charity Shield, has been held since 1974 at Wembley Stadium, the sacred ground of soccer, located in London, England.

However, as the influence of Middle Eastern oil money on European football grows, there is also a view that it is only a matter of time before the English Super Cup is held overseas.

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