Copa Del Rey Final Officially Postponed Until Fans Can Safely Attend

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Athletic’s Copa del Rey final will not be played until fans can safely attend (AC)

La Liga and the clubs are determined to finish the season even if it takes playing football through August behind closed doors. The Copa del Rey final is a very different. Athletic, Real Sociedad, and the Spanish Football Federation have been adamant that the match wouldn’t be played without fans and, with the game scheduled to take place at La Cartuja in Seville, the Andalusian government has requested the same.

On Tuesday and agreement was reached between the RFEF, La Liga, and the National Sports Council to officially postpone the Cup final until fans can safely attend. The expectation is that the match will have to wait until next season, possibly until spring of 2021, but must take place at least one week before the 2020/2021 final.

Rescheduling for the week of Christmas or possibly the last two weeks of next season are options according to a report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo. This agreement also puts an end to any discussions of relocating the final to the Basque Country.

It has also been decided that both finalists will qualify for Europe if the final isn’t played this season. If the La Liga season does resume and both Athletic and Real Sociedad finish in the top six then seventh place would be awarded the final spot in Europe. The possibility of playing the final with fans this season hasn’t been ruled out, but is considered highly unlikely.

Given the likelihood that the final won’t be played until next season there are other issues that must be resolved. Both clubs will have the opportunity to sign players during the next transfer window but new arrivals could be barred from competing in the final. There’s also the matter of whether or not players currently on loan, like Athletic’s Iñigo Vicente, will be allowed to play.

Mikel San José and Beñat are both out of contract at the end of the season and would miss the final if not offered renewals. Aritz Aduriz is in the same situation but has agreed to sign a new contract through the final once a date has been set. Athletic’s dream of lifting a 35th Copa del Rey title lives on, but must wait until the fans can fill the stands of la Cartuja.

One comment

  • The idea of playing the final a week or a fortnight before next season’s final is truly bizarre. Exceptional circumstances, yes, but you could have all sorts of strange permutations – one or both teams qualifying for the next final and the possibility of winning one, losing the other, etc, etc. Or getting knocked out of the 2020/21 Copa while still being in the one for 2019/20. It would also mean two new records, surely – shortest reign as cup holders, and longest time between semis and final? Crazy, crazy times. Play it at Eibar’s ground during the Christmas break, that’s what I say. If it’s safe to do so, obvs.

    PS, thanks for keeping us updated even when there’s no actual football going on. You’re a star.

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