Copa del Rey final can't be held at Bernabeu, say Real Madrid

By Joe Wright 10 February 2017
Copa del Rey final can't be held at Bernabeu, say Real Madrid

The final of the Copa del Rey cannot be held at the Santiago Bernabeu because there will be construction work taking place, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said.

Disputes over where the match should take place have become commonplace in Spanish football in recent years, specifically when Madrid or Barcelona are set to be involved.

Barca claimed the trophy last season with a 2-0 win over Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon, with the Bernabeu having been ruled out as a possible venue as a result of a scheduling conflict with a Bruce Springsteen live concert.

With the holders set to meet Alaves in this season's final, the Bernabeu has again been suggested as a potential host stadium, along with the Calderon and Athletic Bilbao's San Mames, although plans to use the latter have again been affected by a music event.

Perez, however, stated on Thursday that Madrid's famous ground cannot be used because of scheduled refurbishment work.

"The Copa final can't be played at the Bernabeu because there's work going on," he told a media event. "There's no other issue."

Barca are reported to favour the Bernabeu, with Catalan daily Sport claiming that the holders have asked Alaves to back a request to hold the final at the home of the Liga leaders.

Alaves owner Josean Querejeta, meanwhile, has said that the Basque club will request that the final is held at San Mames in order to make it easier for local supporters to attend.

He told Cadena Ser: "The stadium would be perfect for our fans.

"It is the closest stadium for our fans to travel to and a lot of our supporters would be able to go. It's a modern stadium and it's a famous landmark in the Basque country.

"The capacity of the Calderon and San Mames is similar but San Mames is more modern and it's closer for us.

"I believe Athletic fans would be thrilled to have a Basque team playing the final in San Mames. I don't think Athletic would have any problems with the final being played there."

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