Why is there an audience in the Copa del Rey and not in the League?

The dispute of this second round of the Copa del Rey leaves us once again a paradoxical and especially striking image. And what happens through the presence of the public in one of the 28 matches of the current round of the thirtieth final of the cup tournament. An image that shocks when neither of the two professional competitions in our country, neither LaLiga nor the ACB, can count on the support of their fans in any of their respective competitions.


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The key to explaining this situation lies in the existing legislation since the onset of the pandemic. The government allowed through a Royal Decree published last June the return of the two great Spanish competitions. But, as stated in article 15 of the aforementioned decree, “In the case of the Professional Soccer League and the ACB, the competent administration for the application of the provisions of the previous section (return of the public to the stadiums) will be the Superior Sports Council after consulting the organizer of the competition, at Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities. Decisions adopted by said body will give priority to health circumstances as well as the need to protect athletes and citizens attending sports activities and competitions “.

In fact, on December 17 both Laliga and the ACB met the CSD in search of the return of the public to the stadiums. The three parties agreed to meet again on January 15 and then set a possible roadmap for the return of fans to their competitions. That is to say, Liga and ACB cannot decide on the return of their competitions, they are in the hands of the government and the Ministry of Health.

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Protocol for non-professional competitions

But this situation does not apply when we talk about non-professional competitions, whatever the sport in question. And the Copa del Rey football, even when the First and Second clubs participate, is not considered professional, as stated in the point of ownership of the competition that defines this competition as the Super Cup as “official non-professional state competitions”.

This means that both the Cup and the Super Cup are subject to the return protocol of non-professional competitions where it makes it clear that the presence of fans is subject to the decision of the Autonomous Communities as the eighth point of the aforementioned protocol makes clear where it says verbatim that the “CCAA may adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the development of competitions with the eventual presence of the public… the sports competitions on the federated competitions of state scope and non-professional character lie in the FFDDEE, under the supervision of the CSD in attention to the delegated public functions, reason why these will be able to adopt the decisions that they consider pertinent on the influx of audience in the competition … “

Moreover, the same protocol adds that “the RFEF understands that it must be each club of the official non-professional state competitions that regulates the presence of the public based on the health regulations issued in the territory where it is located.” Later in the Cup, these competitions are delegated to each Community and the club must abide by the sanitary conditions that prevail in each territory.

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In international competitions there is an agreement between the government and the CCAA so that there is no public

This protocol is initially applied in international competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League or international matches of the national team. In fact, UEFA authorizes the presence of 33% of the capacity in the stadiums of its competitions. However, on October 28, the Ministry of Health together with the CSD announced an agreement with the Autonomous Communities to prohibit the presence of the public in international competitions and that affects all football and basketball clubs that participate in the Champions or Europa League of football and the Euroleague or Eurocap basketball. Only such an agreement would allow there to be no public either in the Cup or in the imminent Super Cup, which will be conditional on what the Junta de Andalucía decides.


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