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Levante’s request to suspend Barcelona-Sevilla game rejected

A ruling on whether Chumi was eligible to play will be passed down, but it won’t affect the match

Levante v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Round of 16 Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona will play Sevilla in the Copa del Rey today as expected, after a Spanish tribunal rejected Levante’s request to postpone the match as a precaution. The Administrative Tribunal for Sport decided against acquiescing to Levante’s petition in an emergency meeting.

Levante say that Barcelona should be kicked out of the cup due to fielding an ineligible player in their tie in the previous round. Chumi, a B team player, was in the lineup as Barcelona lost the first leg 1-2. Despite winning the second leg 3-0, with Chumi not taking part, Barça would be eliminated if they indeed fielded an ineligible player and Levante complained within 48 hours of the match.

Barcelona maintain they did nothing wrong, and Chumi was eligible. But the point may be moot as Levante did not launch their complaint until days after the 48 hour deadline passed, having not been aware they had a case until the allegation was first published in the media.

A Spanish federation judge and appeals committee both ruled that since Levante had not complained in time, Barcelona should stay in the competition, without having to decide whether Chumi was eligible or not.

The tribunal will rule whether Chumi was eligible or not in the coming months, but they do not think it is necessary to postpone the match in the meantime. This is said to be because they do not think Levante was done irreparable harm by previous rulings, which suggests they agree that Barcelona should stay in the competition.

The appeals committee rejected Levante’s argument for there being precedent for complaints filed after the deadline still being considered. In fact, the committee showed there was precedence for rejecting cases of complaints being filed after the deadline for an ineligible lineup. In 2004, Terrasa’s complaint filed after the deadline for a supposed ineligible Xerez player was similarly rejected.

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