Arsenal’s friendly with Sevilla in Stockholm will take place after the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed that the 2018 Spanish Supercopa, which pits the Andalusians against Barcelona, will be a one-leg affair.
An Arsenal spokesman told Arseblog News that the fixture on 4 August ‘will definitely go ahead as planned’ meaning Unai Emery will get a reunion with his old club a week before his first Premier League fixture against Manchester City.
The Supercopa is traditionally played over two legs between the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey. As Barcelona won both, Sevilla qualified as the losing finalists of the latter and had been expecting matches on the 5 and 12 August. Given such a tight schedule, the Spaniards would have dropped out of their planned jaunt to Sweden to make room.
For what it’s worth, Sevilla are not pleased with the way the RFEF have dealt with things. First, they’d already told their season ticket holders that the home-leg was part of their season ticket.
Second, they feel that Barcelona pressured the RFEF to change the competition format because it stood to clash with a money-making friendly between the Catalans and AC Milan in California.
What’s more, it looks as though the match will now be played in a neutral venue…in Tangiers, Morocco.
In an official statement, their fury is clear for all to see. “Sevilla expresses its absolute disagreement with the decision taken by the RFEF to schedule a one-leg match,” it reads.
“The club, despite seeing the decision to play just one match as unjust, will not refuse to play the final.
“It seems clear that the RFEF have taken a specific decision for the present edition of the competition with the exclusive intention of solving the problems of Barcelona, disregarding the requests of Sevilla.
“Notwithstanding, the RFEF have taken an arbitrary decision today, harmful to the interests of our club.
“It has done so even without having already established a definitive venue for the final. The club considers this a lack of respect for our institution and fans.”
Anyway, if you’re a Swedish Gooner at least you now have clarity, the Arsenal match will take place.