Fuenlabrada deny making Segunda Division play-off 'sacrifice' after LaLiga statement

By Matt Dorman 27 July 2020 14
Fuenlabrada deny making Segunda Division play-off 'sacrifice' after LaLiga statement

LaLiga has thanked second-tier Fuenlabrada for appearing to concede a possible promotion play-off place despite the club insisting they could yet contest their postponed final fixture against Deportivo La Coruna.

The season-ending Segunda Division encounter was called off shortly before its scheduled kick-off time last Monday after several Fuenlabrada players tested positive for coronavirus.

There are now 28 positive cases connected to the club and Fuenlabrada admitted in a statement on Sunday that "it is impossible to foresee when and under what conditions" the game could go ahead.

The statement suggested the Madrid outfit were willing to accept a permanent cancellation, an outcome that would resign them to an eighth-place finish and deny Jose Ramon Sandoval's charges the chance to compete in the four-team play-off for promotion to the top flight.

LaLiga responded by expressing its "absolute appreciation" for Fuenlabrada's "enormous sacrifice" and the league's president, Javier Tebas, publicly took responsibility for the awkward situation, tweeting: "FOOTBALL OWES YOU ONE."

But while LaLiga claimed it had communicated the "definitive suspension of the match" to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), and that sixth-placed Elche would retain the final play-off spot, the matter appears far from finished.

Fuenlabrada released a follow-up statement clarifying their view that the match could still take place in early August, adding: "We understand that LaLiga is not the only competent body to make this decision.

"The decision is also in the hands of the RFEF Competition Committee and, where appropriate, the CSD [National Sports Council].

"Fuenlabrada is not considered out of the play-off and remains pending the resolution of the other competent bodies."

Depor, who like Fuenlabrada have played a game fewer than 20 other Segunda Division sides, will be closely monitoring the developments.

The former top-flight title winners hoped to avoid relegation with a final-day victory and have threatened legal action over a postponement that has left them in limbo.

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Matt Dorman