Athletic Given 48 Hours To Respond To Copa Del Rey Ultimatum
UEFA have given Athletic and Real Sociedad an ultimatum and an answer must be given. Either play the Copa Del Rey final this season without fans with the winner qualifying for Europe, or postpone it until next season when fans can attend but without the reward of Europe. The clubs must choose.
The Spanish Football Federation have given the clubs 48 hours to make a decision, according to a report from AS. If the final is going to take place this season then the RFEF will have to begin making preparations immediately. The match will have to take place before 3 August for the winner qualify for Europe.
Real Sociedad are said to have already given their answer, postponing the final until next season. However, El Correo have reported that La Real would prefer the match to be played this summer behind closed doors. Either way, they will already qualify for Europe due their position in the La Liga table, but Athletic’s situation is far more difficult.
Athletic have maintained that the final shouldn’t be played without fans. However, the Lions currently sit five points off of the top seven. If the final is postponed Athletic would have to make up that ground over the remaining eleven games this season to qualify for Europe.
The fans and players have made their opinions clear that the final should be postponed. “Football without fans isn’t football”, has been the slogan. Athletic is the most unique club in all of world football and the fans have called on the club to prove it in this unprecedented situation. The clock is ticking.