Spanish government rejects idea of having fans in Copa final

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s top health official on Wednesday rejected the idea of having fans back in the stands for the Copa del Rey final between Basque Country rivals Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad in April.

Health Minister Carolina Darias said it wouldn’t be appropriate to allow fans to attend the April 3 final in Sevilla.

“Considering the situation we are in, it’s not possible,” she said. “It’s not the right moment.”

The Copa final between Athletic and Real Sociedad was postponed from last year in the hope that fans from the fierce rivals could attend.

Spanish soccer officials have been hoping to have fans back in stadiums by the end of the season as the pandemic gradually subsides.

Spanish league president Javier Tebas said earlier Wednesday it might be possible to have some fans back for league games after Easter.

Spain was one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus.

This season’s final between Barcelona and Athletic will be played on April 17.

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