LFP release statement explaining late kick-off times on La Liga opening weekend

The governing body that have come under criticism for their decision to start Liga matches late in the evening, have publicly explained why they have been making such choices
The Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) have released a statement explaining their decision to schedule some matches in the first round of Primera Division matches as late as 23:00CET.

The move drew the ire of several clubs, including Atletico Madrid and Espanyol, both of whom blame the governing body for poor management of the league.

The LFP have sought to quell the criticism by explaining their decisions on their official website.

"The kick-off times were conditioned by an agreement between the LFP and the AFE (the players' union) that the Spanish league season should start on the same weekend as the rest of the leagues in Europe, on August 18," the statement reads.

"The players need to be protected from the high temperatures of mid August and so the AFE asked us to make sure that no games started before 19:00CET.

"Therefore, we have had to schedule games at unusual times in August. Kick-off times will return to the usual times as of the third weekend of the season.

"The LFP does its best to combine the interests of everyone associated with professional football in order to gain the best outcome for everyone in the midst of our current economic situation by organising the fixtures in the least harmful way possible.

"We also want to publish kick-off times as far in advance as possible for the benefit of fans who want to follow their teams."

The first round of Liga matches are scheduled to start on August 18.