COPA DEL REY

Copa del Rey final: Real Sociedad and Athletic Club have 48 hours to declare their stance

The RFEF want to know each club's position on this year's Copa del Rey final. Real Sociedad want to play in front of the public, the ball is in Athletic's court...

Copa del Rey final: Real Sociedad and Athletic Club have 48 hours to declare their stance
AMAIA ZABALO DIARIO AS

UEFA's recent communiqué to the Spanish Football Federation regarding the strategy for determining which Spanish teams will play in European competition next season has presenred a whole new set of problems concerning the Copa del Rey final. There is still no date set for the final but the RFEF must now act quick to find one. If the final doesn't take place before 3 August, whoever eventualy wins the trophy when it is played, either Real Sociedad or Athletic Club, will be left without a place in next season's Europa League.

Now facing a race against time which they didn't expect, the RFEF have given both finalists, Real Sociedad and Athletic, 48 hours to put forward their stance on whether the final should be played with the public in attendance or behind closed doors.

Athletic voice disappointment with UEFA decsion

Athletic issued a statement on Friday to voice their complete incomprehension and disagreement with UEFA's decision that the final Europa League place should go to the team which finishes LaLiga in seventh place and not one of the Copa del Rey finalists - in the event that the final has nor been played by 3 August. The club has been in touch with both the RFEF and Real Sociedad to discuss the matter further.

La Real meanwhile, have been holding talks with RFEF president Luis Rubiales, to let him know that as far as they are concerned, the final must be played in front of fans - as long as perimission to do so has been granted by UEFA and Spain's Health Ministry. They explain that it is not up to them to decide how and when the final is played. Athletic also know La Real's position on the final.

The RFEF will send both club's a document giving them the choice to decide whether: 1) The final will be played with fans in attendance but the last Europa League place will go to the team that finishes the league in seventh or 2) The final will be played behind closed doors in August which will allow one of the finalists to directly qualify for the group stage of next season's Europa League. Rubiales will give both clubs 48 hours to give their answer so that a decision can be made by the end of the week.