FC Barcelona And Sevilla Expelled From Spanish Cup For Fielding Ineligible Players

FC Barcelona, the holders and record nine-time winners of the Spanish Women’s Cup, the Copa de la Reina de Futbol, have sensationally been thrown out of the competition after fielding a player who should have been serving a suspension in this month’s Round of 16 match against Osasuna, a game Barcelona won 9-0.

The infringement of the rules was highlighted on social media during the game by a Spanish soccer coach, Christian Vieira, who pointed out that Barcelona striker, Geyse Ferreira, who scored one of the goals on the night, should have been serving a suspension after being sent off for receiving two yellow cards in her last game in the Copa de la Reina for her previous club Madrid CFF and was therefore ineligible to play.

In a statement released on January 10, Osasuna, who play in the Primera Federación, the second tier of the Spanish women’s game, while recognizing the superiority of their opponents on the pitch, nonetheless announced they would be appealing the result of the game, “motivated by the respect that its players and fans deserve in the face of the evident infraction of the regulations”.

Speaking after the game, Barcelona coach Jonatan Giráldez claimed to have no knowledge of Geyse’s suspension stating that “on the Spanish Federation’s (RFEF) website, in the sanctions section of the Copa de la Reina last season, there was no type of sanction for that competition.” However, Spanish journalists have pointed out that the suspension was on the Fénix program of the RFEF, a tool used by clubs to streamline procedures around signings and suspensions.

The case bears resemblance to the precedent set in the Spanish men’s game eight years ago when Real Madrid fielded Russian international Denis Cheryshev in a Spanish Cup tie away to Cádiz CF. Cheryshev scored in a 3-1 victory but, like Geyse, should have been serving a suspension incurred while playing in the semi-finals of the same competition the previous season.

Speaking at the time, Real Madrid President, Florentino Pérez, similarly denied knowledge of the infringement, placing the blame on the RFEF, “if we didn’t know, the sanction cannot stand”. The club appealed against the sanction but were unsuccessful and expelled from the tournament.

In almost identical circumstances, Sevilla FC were also today expelled from the Copa de la Reina for bringing on midfielder Nagore Calderón for the final 30 minutes of their 1-0 victory away to Villarreal CF. Nagore was shown a straight red card in Sevilla’s quarter-final defeat in the Copa de la Reina last season away to Grandilla Tenerife and should have been serving a suspension.

Both clubs had lodged pre-emptive appeals to the RFEF in anticipation of their suspension but these proved to be ultimately unsuccessful. The match between Osasuna and Barcelona was awarded to the home side by a scoreline of 3-0 with an additional fine of €1,001 ($1,087) imposed on the offending side in application of article 79, sections 1 and 2.b), of the Disciplinary Code of the RFEF.

Barcelona, the reigning Spanish league champions and Cup holders, have previously won the Copa de la Reina (the Queen’s Cup) a record nine times, including in five of the last six seasons. They remain on course to retain the Spanish league title after winning every game they have played, and this week could become the first professional team in soccer history to win 50 league games in succession. Yesterday, they also retained the Spanish Supercopa, defeating Real Sociedad 3-0 in Merida.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/asifburhan/2023/01/24/fc-barcelona-and-sevilla-expelled-from-spanish-cup-for-fielding-ineligible-players/