The Spanish Federation Appeals Committee has ruled against Levante’s claim that FC Barcelona should be thrown out of the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player. Levante has vowed to take their case up with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which could ultimately overrule the Spanish Federation.
Levante says FC Barcelona should be eliminated from the competition, and their spot given to the Valencian club, because a player who had received a one-match ban, Chumi, played the first leg for Barcelona. Levante won that match 2-1, but lost the return leg 3-0.
Chumi, a B team player, received a fifth yellow card in his previous match and should not have been able to play any games for the senior team until he had served his one-match ban for the B team, Levante claims.
Barcelona says Chumi was free to play in the cup, as it was not the same competition as the one in which he received the yellow card.
In any case, Levante’s complaint was filed after the 48 hour deadline to lodge protests had passed. This is why a Spanish Federation judge previously threw out their case. The Appeals Committee did the same, deciding against Levante due to the 48 hour rule. The committee did not evaluate whether Chumi was eligible, as they considered it a moot point.
Barcelona have drawn Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and are set to play the first leg on Wednesday.