Madrid - Spain's football federation went to war Thursday over television rights, threatening to cancel the season's crucial last matches as the government accused it of getting too big for its boots.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) vowed late on Wednesday to "suspend competitions of all categories starting from May 16 indefinitely".
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It complained that a recent reform of the allocation of TV broadcast rights of matches would distribute revenue unfairly.
The federation said in a statement it was fighting to protect the revenues of small football clubs, but sports authorities and the sporting media poured scorn on the RFEF and its head Angel Villar.
"They are completely unaware of their place in the Spanish nation," said Miguel Cardenal, head of the government's Higher Sports Council.
"Mr. Villar thinks that his country's government has to ask his blessing and authorisation in order to do something."
Leading Madrid sports daily Marca accused Villar of waging a personal fight against the government to try and show that "football begins and ends with him".
Liga matches threatened
The CSD accused the federation of seeking to avoid paying back certain subsidies that it said the RFEF had made "unjustified" use of. The federation denied any such irregularities.
The state body accused the federation of serving "interests beyond those of the real benefit of football".
The stoppage, if it goes ahead, will affect the key May 17 title clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as well as the concluding weekend of the league.
The Spanish Cup final, set for May 30 between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, would also be scrapped.
The new TV deal signed into law on April 30 by the Spanish government was seen as a means of helping loosen the financial stranglehold of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two giants of the Spanish game.
The deal, yet to be ratified by parliament, would end the tradition of clubs being allowed to negotiate their own TV deals.
Instead, the rights would be auctioned just as they are in England's lucrative Premier League.
Premier league-style revenues
The RFEF said it was unhappy over the sharing-out of the money as well as the reduction of revenue from betting streams.
"They think they are losing economic control on all fronts," said Barcelona football daily Sport on Thursday.
The federation denounced "the continued interference" of government bodies in football.
Sports minister Jose Ignacio Wert said the new deal meant a fairer distribution of finances around the league including clubs who struggle in the shadows of Real and Barcelona, two of the richest clubs in the world.
Wert said that the Premier League in England generated 1.8 billion euros in 2013-2014 from TV deals compared to 800 million in Spain.
La Liga chiefs were hoping to claim a billion euros in the new system.
Earlier this week, the AFE Spanish players union threatened a strike in protest at being excluded from the negotiations.
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi had even added his voice to supporting industrial action.
"The AFE have met with us. The players are with them in what they say," said Messi.
The Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) said it was the one with the power to schedule matches and the RFEF's threat of cancellations was "null and void".
Even as it threatened its stoppage, the federation insisted it "is open to dialogue with the Spanish government".