Copa del Rey final to be held behind closed doors - Spanish FA

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MADRID (Reuters) - The postponed 2019-20 Copa del Rey final will be held behind closed doors, the Spanish FA (RFEF) said on Thursday.

It had been hoped that delaying the game, which sees Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad clash, until April 3 would allow the return of fans following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spanish radio station Cadena SER reported on Wednesday that the RFEF planned to allow the Cartuja Stadium in Seville to operate at 20-25% of its 60,000 capacity.

However, Spain's Health Minister Carolina Darias said the government would block the move, adding that it was "not opportune" to have fans returning to stadiums so soon.

The RFEF issued a statement on Thursday saying: "The current epidemic, and the established restrictions, where the borders of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia and the Province of Sevilla are closed, means that it is not feasible for fans who don't live in the local area to attend the game.

"This was relayed to both clubs, who said they would accept and back any decision that the RFEF took.

"In particular, the fact that fans from neither side would be able to travel to the game was taken into account.

"Thus, the Andalusian Government's Health Department and the RFEF have come to the agreement that the game will take place behind closed doors at the Cartuja."

There was no mention of whether this season's Copa final, between Barcelona and Athletic, scheduled for April 17 would also be played without fans under the same restrictions.

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Ken Ferris)