Barca to begin season on August 31

MADRID - Barcelona will begin the defence of their Spanish league title on August 31 three days after playing Shakhtar Donetsk in the European Super Cup, the Spanish football league (LFP) said on Wednesday.

All other Primera Liga matches in the opening round of the 2009/10 season will take place on the weekend of August 29/30 and the final round will be on May 15/16.

The final of the King's Cup has been scheduled for Wednesday May 26 but this may be moved to Sunday May 23 if there is no Spanish team in the final of the Champions League in Madrid on May 22, the LFP added.

The first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Barca and Athletic Bilbao will take place on Aug. 16 in Bilbao and the return leg in Barcelona on August 16.

The calendar needs to be approved by the Spanish soccer federation.