The Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will be held in the Camp Nou on May 30.
It had been reported both finalists favored the Santiago Bernabeu as the final’s site. But Real Madrid were against the match being played in their home stadium and informed the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) the venue would not be available on the scheduled date.
There was also a major concern among Real Madrid and La Liga officials that Spain’s national anthem would be whistled or booed by supporters from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
Both teams hail from autonomous regions of Spain, with large sections of Barcelona supporters campaigning for Catalan independence throughout this season.
However, after two hours of talks between representatives from both finalists failed to produce an agreement; the matter was eventually settled by the RFEF board who voted in favor of using the Camp Nou by a 26-18 count.
Barcelona’s home ground, with its maximum capacity of 98,700, was chosen ahead of the new San Mames (53,300), Mestalla (55,000) and Benito Villamarin (52,500).
It is interesting to note that the club who loans their stadium for the Copa del Rey final (in this case, Barcelona) is also entitled to a share of the total tickets available for the game, as well as a percentage of related advertising deals and television broadcasting rights.
The last time these two clubs met in the Copa del Rey final was in 2012, when Barcelona defeated Bilbao 3-0 in the Vicente Calderon.
The Catalan club has won the King’s Cup a record 26 times, with Bilbao the next closest team at 23 titles.
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