Competition rejects the Atlético-Athletic Copa schedule change


The duel between Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey 2023-2024 maintains its schedule initially set for next Wednesday, February 7, at 9:30 p.m., not in response to the request of the Madrid to play the match on Thursday, according to a statement issued by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

“The Competition Committee resolves to reject the request to modify the schedule of the Atlético de Madrid-Athletic Club match, corresponding to the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals, set for Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 9:30 p.m., a time that is confirms, without prejudice to the schedule modifications – outside the powers of this body – that they can be operated on matchday 23 of the First Division”, concluded the Sole Judge of Non-Professional Competitions.

In its request, the capital team demanded that “the dispute of two games in a period of less than three days” be avoided. According to the requesting club, this provision was breached, as it was understood that this Sunday’s derby at the Santiago Bernabéu will end “at approximately 11:00 p.m.”, and the start of the first leg of the Cup semi-finals will be “at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.”

In addition, Atlético alleged that this can cause injuries and physical problems in the footballers, as Competition explained. “From January 18 to January 30, he has had to play 4 matches in 11 days, with three of his players having suffered injuries as a result. The league match on Sunday, February 4, is against his greatest rival, which will entail considerable physical effort, emotional burden and additional stress on the players, which makes it reckless not to have more rest before the cup match,” read the organization’s statement.

In its allegations, the club added that “if the match is held less than 72 hours after the end of the previous one” it would harm “the very prestige and integrity that the Copa del Rey deserves.”

However, the Competition Committee explained that the regulations “do not speak of 72 hours but of 3 days”, so the judge understands that the first leg of the semi-finals next Wednesday was set “without incurring a violation of said time limit.” “.

“It would be illogical to delay a certain match in the name of preserving the health of the footballers and the integrity of the Copa del Rey competition if this would leave an even shorter recovery time compared to the following match, which would put more in endanger the health of the footballers and the integrity of another competition such as the National First Division League Championship,” said Competition.

Finally, the judge explained that “the greater or lesser preparation time between matches has never been a reason taken into account by this competition body in the adoption of this type of decisions”, since it does not correspond “with any cause provided for by regulations.” .

2024-02-01 13:12:20
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