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Sevilla will have royal presence afterall


On Tuesday we held a "Meet the AS team" in Seville and during the course of it the Sevilla president, José Castro, voiced a complaint, one which, frankly, I understood. He was disappointed because Felipe VI (King of Spain), who had recently been enjoying the VIP boxes of Atlético and Real Madrid to witness their respective European semi-finals, had no plans to attend Sevilla's final in Basel. He seemed sincerely hurt, as did several Sevillistas, the fans on the street, with whom I discussed the matter with subsequently. The Royal House later informed us that Felipe VI had already committed to something that day, three months prior.

The reaction, by the second day, has been good: with Philipe VI not going, instead his father will, the emeritus king, Juan Carlos I. This gesture dispels any feeling of disinterest from the institution towards Sevilla. Yesterday, the Royal House itself reminded me when commenting on the issue that Felipe VI, while still a prince, had attended three of Sevilla's finals in this competition. For their fourth final, last year, it was not possible as he was involved in NATO discussions in Zaragoza as well as the visit of the Tunisian Foreign Minister. On this occasion he is traveling to centers for mental illness in Talavera and Tomelloso.

It would have been in bad taste to postpone that trip for the final. But the solution has been excellent and fast, and with the figure of Juan Carlos it’s all the same. The Royals will be in Basel, as it will in Milan where, yes, it will be in the form of King Felipe VI. All's well that ends well. But perhaps in the future it would be a good idea, as well as reserving a place in the royal diary for the Champions League final, also saving the date for the Europa League, just in case, especially given the persistence of Sevilla (and the high level shown by others, like Villarreal who were knocking on the final door). However, Castro's complaint has been dealt with well.