Barcelona faces complaint for using suspended player in Copa
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona is in danger of being thrown out of the Copa del Rey for allegedly using a suspended player against Levante in the tournament's round of 16.
Levante president Quico Catalan tells Spanish media the club will make a formal complaint against Barcelona, accusing it of illegally using youth player Juan "Chumi" Brandariz in the first leg last week. Levante, which won the match 2-1 at home, says Chumi should have been serving a suspension.
The second leg will be played Thursday at Camp Nou Stadium.
Catalan says Levante will go forward with the complaint regardless of the result at Camp Nou.
He says the club knows the deadline for such complaints has passed, but that the federation could still choose to accept it depending on the circumstances of the case.
Barcelona, a four-time defending Copa champion, has denied any wrongdoing. It says it is backed by a rule that allowed Chumi to play.
Levante says Chumi should not have played because of an accumulation of yellow cards with Barcelona's "B" team, arguing that his suspension applied to the senior team as well, including in Copa del Rey matches.
Real Madrid was eliminated in the round of 16 of the Copa in 2015 for using striker Denis Cheryshev while he was suspended.
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Updated January 17, 2019