KING'S CUP

Calderón gets cup final after Bernabéu blowout

Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao to line up at later date of May 25

After a three-hour meeting, the board of the Spanish Football Federation decided on Tuesday that this year’s King’s Cup final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will be held in Atlético Madrid’s Vicente Calderón stadium on May 25.

The directors chose the 55,000-capacity ground over La Cartuja stadium in Seville by 22 votes to 14. They also opted to put back the initial date of the match of May 20 in case Barcelona reaches the Champions League final, scheduled for May 19 in Munich.

The Calderón on May 25 had been the preferred option for the Catalans, while Athletic had wanted to play at La Cartuja on May 20. This was the choice to be made after the first preference of both teams, the Santiago Bernabéu, had been ruled out by Real Madrid, apparently due to renovation work plans.

The Calderón was also chosen despite the fact that the stadium is to host a concert by the rock group Coldplay five days before the final with all the associated effects on the pitch that will have.

The date has also generated a certain amount of controversy in relation to the Spanish national side’s preparations for the European Championships, which kick off in Poland and Ukraine on June 8. Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will announce his squad on May 15 and the players are expected to assemble from May 20.

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