COPA DEL REY

Copa del Rey: Athletic, Real Sociedad and RFEF agree the final should be played in front of the public

Elizegi, Aperribay and Rubiales reached an agreement while knowing that it means missing out on the Europa League place. The final will be played in 2020 or 2021.

Athletic Club and Real Sociedad have agreed that it is both of their interests to play this year's Copa del Rey final with both sets of fans present - even if it means giving up the Europa League place that would have automatically gone to the winners.

Athletic and Real Sociedad presidents at the RFEF

Club presidents Jokin Aperribay and Aitor Elizegi met today In Madrid with RFEF president Luis Rubiales and all three parties were in agreement that the final should be played at its original venue, La Cartuja in Seville and be open to the general public. Now all that remains is for a suitable date to be found 

"Both clubs have wanted to play the final with both sets of fans present all along. We cannot think of anything better than to play a Cup final with our supporters in the stands," the two Basque clubs said in a joint statement.

Athletic and Real Sociedad have asked the RFEF to guarantee that the Copa del Rey final will be played in line with tradition - and count as an official competition as it would have been if it hadn't be postponed for the coronavirus crisis. While that might sound like a minor point, it means that a date will need to be found in the official calendar and that must be approved by the RFEF Delegates' Commission who are due to meet on Friday.

Europa League place will go to the team that finishes seventh

The RFEF envisage staging the final in the spring of 2021. However they were informed by UEFA last week that unless the Copa del Rey final was held before 3 August 2020, there would be no European qualifying place for the champions, or runners-up if the champions had already sealed a place in the Champions League or Europa League. That means that the final Europa League place will go to the team that finishes seventh in LaLiga. The team that currently occupies seventh place in the table is Valencia, and they if no more LaLiga games are played this season, they will automatically qualify for Europe.