Challenge to suspension of football comes Spain's professional league.

Spain’s professional league (LFP) has commenced legal action to overturn a decision by the football federation (RFEF) to indefinitely suspend competition from May 16 over a row with the government for the distribution of television revenue.

The law was approved in cabinet last week with the backing of the LFP and aims to create a more equitable playing field for clubs in Spain’s top two divisions by sharing out TV cash more evenly.

However, both the RFEF, and its president Angel Maria Villar, and the players’ union (AFE) oppose the new rules and the two organisations have supported the decision to suspend football.

The final two matchdays in La Liga would both be affected as well as the King’s Cup final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, unless agreement can be reached to avert the action.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the LFP said the RFEF’s decision was legally “invalid” and that it had initiated “the appropriate action with the pertinent administrative and legal bodies” to overturn it.

However, it also stressed: “At the same time, and yet again, we reiterate the offer of dialogue to the Spanish government.”

Spanish law gave the LFP the right to organise professional competition and set the calendar for matches, the league argued, and called for those involved in voting for a suspension to be subjected to disciplinary measures.

“The LFP wishes to reiterate the importance of the royal decree approved by the Spanish government and emphasise its importance as an historic milestone for Spanish soccer,” the LFP said.

A total of 17 regional federations would be affected by the suspension, including more than 600,000 players and 30,000 matches, the RFEF said.

The current TV pool favours the big two in Spain, Real Madrid and rivals Barcelona.

Poorer teams, especially those with outstanding debts, have called for rights to be pooled to help them make ends meet.