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Spanish Super Cup to be hosted in Saudi capital Riyadh again

The Spanish Super Cup will take place in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia in January 2023, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced Thursday.

It is the third time the tournament will take place in the Middle East, as part of a deal to keep the tournament there until 2029, worth a reported 30 million euros (30.1 million dollars) a season for the RFEF.

Reigning champions and La Liga winners Real Madrid will face Copa del Rey runners up Valencia in one semi-final, with cup-winners Real Betis playing Barcelona, who finished second in the league in the other.

“The three matches will be played at the King Fahd de Riyadh stadium, a spectacular venue with capacity for over 60,000 fans,” said the RFEF in a statement.

The semi-finals will take place on January 11 and 12 with the final on January 15.

In the 2019/20 season the Spanish Super Cup was played in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but because of the coronavirus pandemic it returned to Spain in 2020/21.

Last season it returned to Saudi Arabia, being held in Riyadh where Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 in the final.

The tournament has been mired in various controversies, including Barcelona defender Gerard Pique’s sports event company Kosmos being paid for helping arrange the move to Saudi Arabia, as well as concerns over human rights issues in the host country.

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