The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have just announced that the final of this year’s Copa del Rey between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will take place at the Vicente Calderon stadium on May 25. It seems the decision was taken by a vote of the 41 RFEF board members. Yesterday, Barça director Toni Freixa announced the club would not be attending today’s meeting as a protest to the committee’s failure to listen to our arguments. It is clear that the club is getting pretty pissed off at some of the decisions being taken in Madrid by the footballing authorities.
Given Real Madrid’s continued resistance to hosting the final at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the absolute incompetence of the RFEF we have had to wait until now for the decision. Neither club wanted to play at Mestalla after the bad experience of 2009. Athletic wanted the game at the Cartuja in Seville due to the larger capacity, though the fans would have been further from the action due to the athletics track around the pitch. Barça asked for the Vicente Calderon as Madrid is closer than Seville and the fans would have a better view, though there are doubts about the state of the pitch as there will be a Bruce Springsteen concert at the stadium on May 13. However, Atletico have said they will change the pitch after the concert. It seems that this is the least bad of the three options available.
It’s a shame that Real Madrid could not have shown a bit more class as the Bernabeu would have meant more fans could have attended and the game would have been played on a better playing surface. The excuse that work on toilets in their stadium would have to be delayed is really quite pathetic, I wouldn’t be surprised if Florentino Perez were installing a toilet in place of his seat at the stadium so that next time Barça humiliate Madrid in front of their own fans, he won’t look quite so uncomfortable.