Barca escapes Copa expulsion after federation rejects Levante complaint

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action with Levante’s Rober at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain on January 17, 2019. (Reuters pic)

BARCELONA: Barcelona will remain in the Copa del Rey after the Spanish football Federation (RFEF) said on Friday it had rejected Levante’s complaint against the Catalan side for fielding an ineligible player in last week’s last-16, first-leg game.

A statement from the federation said head of the competition Carmen Perez had rejected Levante’s complaint against Barca for fielding defender Juan ‘Chumi’ Brandariz in the game when he was supposed to be serving a suspension because it arrived after the 48-hour deadline.

Barca, who have won the last four editions of the Copa del Rey and have lifted the trophy a record 30 times, won Thursday’s second leg 3-0 at the Nou Camp for a 4-2 aggregate win, and will take their place in the quarter-final draw later on Friday.