Barcelona could be in hot water following their progression through to the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey.

The current holders beat Levante 4-2 on aggregate to enter the next stage of the competition.

However, Levante will look to file a complaint against Barça for fielding an allegedly ineligible player in the first leg of their round of 16 clash.

The player in question is 19-year-old defender Chumi. He plays for Barcelona B in the Segunda División B and received a ban for an accumulation of yellow cards in that league.

There are conflicting reports about whether or not that ban in the third tier of Spanish football applies to playing for the first team in all Spanish competitions both cup and league – which would mean Barcelona did the wrong thing – or just the top tier domestic competition.

Further complicating matters is the fact that Levante’s president told media before the second leg: “Whatever happens on the field of play today, Levante are going to take this situation to the Federation tomorrow. We feel that there is solid enough jurisprudence to back up the club’s decision to do so.”

However, there are deadlines for such complaints and that deadline was January 11, 24 hours after the match in question.

Spanish sports newspaper AS reports that Barcelona are feeling calm about any potential investigation thanks to a rule change in November last year.

The Spanish football federation introduced a rule which states reserve team players can play for the first team in another competition if the ban is fewer than two games long – which Chumi’s was.

There is a precedent for kicking teams out of the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid being disqualified in 2015. However, the situations are wildly different so watch this space.

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Marissa Lordanic
marissa.lordanic@gmail.com