Spanish Football Federation Insists The Copa Del Rey Final Will Be Held At La Cartuja Next Season
The only certainty in regards to the Copa Del Rey final is that Athletic and Real Sociedad will face off for the trophy. When and where the game will take place is still a mystery. Originally scheduled for 18 April, the final was postponed due to the health crisis and both clubs, along with the Spanish Football Federation, have been adamant that it won’t be played until fans can safely attend.
Last week a meeting was held between the Federation, La Liga, and the Higher Sports Council where an agreement was signed that the final would be postponed until fans can safely attend. Most like, that won’t be able to happen until next season, possibly even 2021, and as a result both finalists would be guaranteed European qualification. However, pushing off the final may not be possible.
Soon after the agreement was reached UEFA published the guidelines for finishing the season which included the requirement of playing all matches if at all possible, even if it means doing so behind closed doors. The only stipulation allowing games to be canceled or postponed would be if the government banned football from being played. As a result, if UEFA don’t allow the Cup final to take place next season then voluntarily doing so would likely come at the cost of not being awarded a place in Europe.
Because of UEFA’s request for all games to be played, several reports have claimed that the final will ultimately have to take place this season behind closed doors if Spain does allow football to return. If so, both Athletic and Real Sociedad are said to want the game moved closer instead of traveling without fans all the way to La Cartuja, the current Cup final venue, where it would be challenging to play in the intense Seville heat.
Yesterday it was reported that Mendizorroza was emerging as a possible venue to host the final if moved. The Alavés stadium is located in the capital of the Basque Country and is a relatively short distance from Athletic and Real Sociedad. With fans unable to attend the match if played this season relocating makes a lot of sense, but the Spanish Football Federation have no plans to change the location.
“The Cup final will be played at La Cartuja no matter what,” a Federation spokesperson told Mundo Deportivo. “We once held a contest to award the venue for the Cup final for four consecutive seasons and Mendizorroza didn’t appear among the bidders. Seville’s proposal, for La Cartuja specifically, was chosen so there is no doubt about where this final and the next three will be held.”
The unnamed representative also spoke about the meeting where it was agreed that the final would be postponed until fans can attend. “It was also signed there that this Cup final will be played with the public, which is what both clubs also want, in the 2020-2021 season to protect, among other things, the interests of the fans. Everyone present there agreed and even signed the agreement.”
There’s been no official statement from the Spanish Football Federation, but questions abound. At this time there’s no guarantee that the season will return but if it does postponing the Cup final will be a major topic of discussion. With a contract in place and the Seville Government formally requesting that the match wait until fans can safely attend, UEFA may allow the historic final to take place next season but doing so may still affect European qualification.