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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 19 August 2018

Sevilla threaten to pull out of Supercopa against Barcelona

Sevilla say they will pull out of the match in Morocco if opponents name an 'improper lineup' of more than three non-EU players

Sevilla players including Danish defender Simon Kjaer, centre, takes part in a training session in Sevilla, Spain ahead of Sunday's Spanish Supercopa match against Barcelona at Stade Ibn Battouta in Tanger, Morocco. EPA
Sevilla players including Danish defender Simon Kjaer, centre, takes part in a training session in Sevilla, Spain ahead of Sunday's Spanish Supercopa match against Barcelona at Stade Ibn Battouta in Tanger, Morocco. EPA

Sevilla have threatened to pull out of Sunday's Spanish Supercopa clash with Barcelona if the Primera Liga champions field more than three non-EU players.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Saturday that there would be no restrictions on players from outside the EU for the Supercopa, despite only three being allowed in squads for league matches.

Sevilla said they could withdraw from the game in Tangier, Morocco, if Barca name an "improper lineup".

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"Sevilla FC is surprised by the RFEF's announcement 24 hours before the Super Cup," Sevilla said in a statement.

"It has said that as many non-EU players as desired can be registered. In their last statement for the 2018-2019 season, only three were due to be allowed, without exception.

"The club's legal department is studying the matter and should FC Barcelona line up with more than three non-EU players, it would present possible ground for withdrawal due to an improper line-up."

New signings Malcom, Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo will likely be Barca's three non-EU players on Sunday, although Brazilian centre-back Marlon has also travelled with the squad.

Philippe Coutinho has reportedly acquired a Portuguese passport through his wife in the last week, while his fellow South Americans Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are already EU citizens.

Sevilla qualified for the match as last season's Copa del Rey runners-up, after Barcelona won the league-and-cup double.

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