UEFA Gives Ultimatum For The Copa Del Rey Final
The uncertainty surrounding the Copa del Rey final will soon be resolved. For weeks there have been questions as to when the match would take place with Athletic and Real Sociedad both adamant that the final shouldn’t be played without fans. An agreement was eventually reached that the game would be postponed until fans could safely attend, but UEFA have since given an ultimatum.
UEFA recently announced guidelines for how to finish the season, requiring that all games be played if at all possible. The Spanish Football Federation have maintained that the final would still wait until the stands could be opened, although the decision is now ultimately up to the clubs.
According to a report from José Féliz Díaz of Marca, UEFA recognize the importance of playing a final with fans and will not force the clubs to have the match behind closed doors. However, if the decision is upheld to postpone the final until next season then the club that finishes 7th in the La Liga table will be awarded European qualification in lieu of not having a Cup champion. Even if the final can’t be played this season due to football being canceled 7th place will still be awarded Europe.
The Spanish Football Federation will offer the clubs two options. The Cup final can either be played before 3 August behind closed doors with the winner earning European qualification, or it can be postponed until next season when fans can attend and Europe will be awarded to 7th place.
The two sides are in different situations as Real Sociedad currently sit 4th in the table but Athletic are five points off of 7th and would need to make up ground to qualify for Europe if the match is still postponed. As long as one club wants the final to take place behind closed doors the RFEF will do everything possible to make it happen. With a place in Europe on the line Athletic will have a big decision to make.