Athletic Request Permission For Aritz Aduriz To Be On The Field For The Copa Del Rey Final
The decision to postpone the Copa del Rey final until fans can safely attend was, by far, the most popular choice. Players, supporters, and coaches were all in agreement that a final without fans wouldn’t be a final at all. However, pushing the game off until next season doesn’t come without consequences.
On Wednesday Aritz Aduriz officially announced his retirement from football. The striker had previously planned to retire at the end of the season, but with the final being postponed there was belief that he would extend his contract so as not to miss the historic fixture. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option as doctors recently informed Aduriz that he needs to undergo hip replacement surgery as soon as possible.
Aduriz won’t be the only current player to miss the final. Midfielders Mikel San José and Beñat are both set to leave the club at the end of the season when their contracts expire and others could also depart in the next transfer window. It’s a truly unprecedented situation as some players who deserve to participate in the Cup final won’t be able to do so, but Athletic hope to change that.
According to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, Athletic have requested permission from the Spanish Football Federation for all current players who might leave the club before the Cup final to be allowed to be on the field during the game. Given the extraordinary circumstances that caused the game to be postponed, Athletic argue that those who won’t be with the club next season still deserve to be able to sit on the bench with the team during the final.
Normally, Aduriz and anyone else who leaves the club would have to watch the Cup final from the stands. If that were to happen Athletic would certainly put the players in seats of honor, but the club wants them down on the field with the rest of the team to enjoy the historic derby.
Getting permission for Aduriz to be on the field will be easier than other players. By being retired Aduriz isn’t tied to any other club, but San José and Beñat will likely sign with different teams. Sources claim that Athletic will ask those clubs permission for the two midfielders to come to the final and sit with the Lions, though it’s unlikely to happen. Either way, Athletic want Aritz Aduriz with the team whenever the Cup final takes place and the 39-year-old deserves it.