Strike action averted in La Liga

Spain's league programme will go ahead this weekend after a Madrid court upheld a challenge from six breakaway clubs and blocked proposed strike action.

"The court decides the official calendar for the first and second divisions should remain unaltered for the next round of matches," a statement from the court said today.

The Spanish football league (LFP) decided at a general assembly last month to suspend matchday 30 unless the government scrapped a rule that one La Liga game per matchday should be shown on freeview television.

Last week, as talks with the government failed to make much progress, six clubs known as the G-6 broke ranks and mounted a legal challenge to the LFP's decision.

The league argues that removing the obligation to show one match for free would strengthen clubs' bargaining power in negotiations on audiovisual rights with media firms.

The league also wants guarantees about how much cash clubs are entitled to receive from betting and lottery revenue.

The six "rebel" clubs, including heavyweights Sevilla and Villarreal, argued that a strike would be "disproportionate, inopportune, against the interest of clubs, the competition and supporters and, what's more, against the law".

This weekend's matches include Barcelona away to Villarreal and second-placed Real Madrid at home to Sporting Gijon, both on Saturday.