Spanish football is in shock over the suspension of all games in the country from May 16. The final, championship-deciding rounds of matches in La Liga may not go ahead. This is because of a dispute between the Spanish football federation and TV companies over TV rights. The suspension could affect 600,000 football players and 30,000 matches. It has come at a bad time for La Liga as Barcelona lead rivals Real Madrid by just two points, with three games left. The Spanish Cup final is also under threat. Officials say there is still time for all parties to settle their disagreement.
The dispute is over a new law from the Spanish government that makes all teams bargain together over TV rights. Currently, the country's top two teams are allowed to make their own deals with TV companies. This means nearly half of all TV money goes to Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Spanish federation said the government lacked respect for interfering in football. It complained it was not consulted on the proposed new TV rights law. In another twist, the players' union has threatened to strike for being excluded from the talks.