MADRID (AP) — In the latest twist in the never-ending saga that is the Spanish second division, the country’s soccer federation on Monday ruled the suspended match between Deportivo La Coruña and Fuenlabrada has to be played this week.
The Spanish league wanted to cancel the game after several Fuenlabrada players caught the coronavirus, but the federation competition committee said it must be played to decide the final qualification spot for the promotion playoffs.
Fuenlabrada needs at least a draw to grab the final playoff spot, which currently is held by Elche. Deportivo is already relegated and has only pride to play for in the game rescheduled for Wednesday.
The final-round game was originally going to be played on July 20 but it was suspended after Fuenlabrada players tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before kickoff.
The league suspended only the game affected by the outbreak and not the entire final round, igniting complaints and threats of legal actions by other clubs that felt they were hurt by the decision.
The playoffs had been on hold since then as officials, local authorities and club directors exchanged accusations and made demands.
The four-team playoffs are now set to end on Aug. 23.
The federation competition committee noted Deportivo was against playing Wednesday's game. The 2000 Spanish league champion wanted next season’s second division to be played with 24 teams instead of 22, allowing it to avoid relegation.
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