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Sevilla Threaten to Withdraw from ‘Not Professional’ Spanish Super Cup Tie


Copa del Rey champions Sevilla have threatened to pull out of Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup tie in Morocco against Barcelona if the La Liga champions name more than three non-European players in the side for the match.

The Spanish Super Cup is the curtain raiser for the domestic season where La Liga champions play the winners of the Copa del Rey. This is the first time that the match, which is usually two-legged affair, is being contested over one-leg.

In response, the Spanish FA on Saturday evening said, that since this tie is ‘not professional’, there is no restriction on non-EU players. In every La Liga matchday squad only three non-EU players are allowed.

The understanding was that the Spanish Super Cup worked under the same rules, and Sevilla said they will object to “an improper line-up”.

A Sevilla club statement read: “Sevilla FC is surprised by the RFEF [Spanish football federation]’s statement 24 hours before the Super Cup.

“It has stated that as many non-EU players as desired can be registered. In their last notice for the 18-19 season, only three were due to be permitted, without exception.

“The club’s legal department is studying the matter and should FC Barcelona submit a team with more than three non-EU players, it would present possible ground for withdrawal on account an improper line-up.”

Barcelona have travelled with Arturo Vidal, Malcom, Arthur and Malcom, with the first three expected to take up the three slots.

Brazilian Philippe Coutinho has recently got a Portuguese passport in the last few days through his wife, with Uruguayan Luis Suarez and Argentine Lionel Messi already possessing EU citizenship.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde was unhappy with the rule change too. “As for the Supercopa not being a professional competition, I do not know what to tell you,” he said.

“I think that Sevilla are professionals and we are professionals. With all the trouble we have had this week with non-EU squad members, they could have warned us before.”

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| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen

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