Sevilla threaten to quit Super Cup if Barca field ‘improper lineup’

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
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The 2018-19 Spanish Supercopa is in danger of being boycotted and abandoned by Sevilla, should their opponents on Sunday, Barcelona, field what they deem “an improper lineup” made of up too many non-European Union players.

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The limit for non-EU players for La Liga fixtures is three. The same limit was previously applied to — or, at least thought to have been — the Supercopa, which pits the previous season’s league and Copa del Rey winners against one another. Since Barcelona won both trophies last season, Copa runners-up Sevilla are slated to face the Blaugrana in Tangier, Morocco.

Sevilla released the following statement on Saturday:

“Sevilla FC is surprised by the Spanish football federation’s statement 24 hours before the Supercopa.

“It has been 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 lineup.”

Arturo Vidal, Malcom and Arthur are expected to be the three non-EU players selected by Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde, but the Catalan club has traveled a fourth, defender Marlon, leading Sevilla to make the above claims and threats. The likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez — South American-born superstars — are EU citizens after years of living on the continent. Philippe Coutinho is also said to have recently received a Portuguese passport through his wife.