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Jan 18, 2019 | Sports News

Beaten Levante say Barca fielded ineligible player

By Paul Myers - RFI
REUTERS/Albert Gea
REUTERS/Albert Gea

Defending champions Barcelona have advanced to the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey following a 3-0 victory over Levante at the Camp Nou. A brace from Ousmane Dembele and a Lionel Messi strike allowed Barca to overturn a first leg deficit and progress 4-2 on aggregate.

Levante immediately cast doubt on the win, however. President Quico Catalán said the club has complained to the Spanish Football Federation over Barcelona's selection of Chumi in the first match.

Levante say Chumi should not have played because he was suspended after picking up five yellow cards for the Barcelona B team.

If the federation agrees with Levante, Barcelona will be thrown out of a competition they have won for the past four seasons.

Barcelona boss, Ernesto Valverde, said he was confident his side would be in the last eight draw along with Girona, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis, Valencia, Girona, Getafe and Espanyol.

Valverde said the 19-year-old defender was eligible for a cup game and was instead banned for the La Liga game against Eibar.

Real Madrid were disqualified from the Copa del Rey in 2015 for fielding Denis Cheryshev, despite the Russian being suspended.

Madrid had overlooked Cheryshev receiving three yellow cards while playing for Villarreal in the competition the previous season.

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