Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Barça are already in Tangier waiting for the Super Cup match

Sevilla threaten to boycott Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona Sevilla are threatening to withdraw from Spanish Super Cup vs Barcelona due to new squad rules
Charles Bowen | 13 August, 2018, 02:01

Lionel Messi has been named in the Barcelona starting lineup for their Spanish Super Cup clash with Sevilla this evening - the first match since the Argentine was named the club's new captain.

But on Saturday the Royal Spanish Football Federation announced there were no restrictions on non-EU players for the Supercopa as it deemed the match "non-competitive".

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced that teams could field an unlimited number of players without European Union citizenship, a change in the rules for La Liga, which limits teams to three non-EU players in a matchday squad.

The Andalusia club issued a statement, saying: "Sevilla FC is surprised by the RFEF's announcement 24 hours before the Super Cup".

Messi, who will don the captain's armband for the first time after the departure of Andrés Iniesta to Vissel Kobe during the summer, will also overtake the midfield maestro as the player with the most titles for Barcelona.

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After Messi and Iniesta come Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, who both won their 28th trophy for Barcelona in the Super Cup win over Sevilla.

Given that all these names could play, that has led to Sevilla threatening to withdraw from the showpiece.

The unexpected ruling means Barcelona's decision to bring three of their four summer signings - all non-EU players - as well as Brazilian defender Marlon to Africa is permitted.

"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 the filing of a complaint on account of an improper line-up".

Philippe Coutinho has recently acquired a Portuguese passport through his wife, which means he is no longer considered a non-EU player.

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