Athletic And Real Sociedad Formally Request The Copa Del Rey Final Be Postponed
The wait is over. Following Friday’s announcement that UEFA had given Athletic and Real Sociedad an ultimatum to either play the Copa del Rey final this season behind closed doors or in the future with fans, the clubs have given their answer. On Monday the Athletic and La Real issued a joint statement requesting that the Spanish Football Federation officially postpone the final until are able to safely attend.
As part of their request, the two clubs have also asked the Federation to guarantee that the final will be played in the future with fans and will be counted as an official championship. There has been worry that postponing the final could result in it never being played and the clubs want assurance that won’t be the case.
In the statement, the clubs explained that presidents Aitor Elizegi and Jokin Aperribay came to the decision together and have already met with Luis Rubiales, the president of the Federation. With this decision both clubs emphasized that they are choosing to prioritize the fans and supporters over all else.
The presidents of Real Sociedad and Athletic Club, finalists in the Copa del Rey Championship for the 2019-2020 season, after meeting with the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, have agreed to request that the Cup Final organized by the RFEF can be held publicly and officially, open door, at a future date to be determined by agreement between the three parties.
The desire and the will of both clubs has always been, now and before, to play the final with the presence of our fans. It is what we would like the most, a Cup Final with our fans in the stands.
At the same time, Real Sociedad and Athletic Club want the Royal Spanish Football Federation to guarantee that the Cup Final will be played as an official competition and will be considered an official title. To do this, they have requested of the General Secretariat of the RFEF that the Delegate Commission of the General Assembly of the RFEF, whose next meeting will be held on Friday, 8 May, 2020, make an agreement to modify the calendar to enable the Cup Final to be held as an official title with the support and warmth of the fans of both teams.
With this decision, Real Sociedad and Athletic Club want to value one of the most prestigious and traditional sporting events that can be played in world football, unique in this edition, and to do so together with their followers, supporters, and Socios who are the true essence, reason, and purpose of this wonderful sport.
The Spanish Football Federation have since issued a responseagreeing with the request of the clubs that the final should be played with fans in attendance. As requested, the RFEF will work with the clubs to set a new date for the final, although they mention that it must be played before the 2020/2021 final.
The RFEF fully shares the desire of Athletic Club and Real Sociedad to play the Final of the Copa del Rey when health and sports circumstances allow the Final to be held open to the public and with the presence of both fans and all those fans who wish to attend.
The Royal House and the Trophy, with the greatest roots and tradition in Spanish football, deserves a final with an audience. For this, the RFEF thanks the decision and the joint request of both clubs and will articulate the necessary regulatory mechanisms so that the Final of the Copa del Rey is played as an official competition at the appropriate time during the year 2020 or 2021 and always before the Final of the 2020/2021 is held. The RFEF will set, in common agreement with Real Sociedad and Athletic Club, the most convenient date for said Final to be the great celebration of Spanish football.