Barcelona responds to player ineligibility accusations
Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has played down fielding an ineligible player during a 3-0 win over Levante in the Copa del Rey.
Levante president Quico Catalan said his club has complained to the Spanish Football Federation over Barcelona fielding Juan Brandariz who was an ineligible player. However, Valverde says his side should still be in the Copa del Rey quarter-final draw despite the accusation. He says the teenager was eligible for a cup game and was instead banned for the La Liga match against Eibar.
"We have no doubt about Chumi, neither before, nor after, nor during, we think that we should be in the draw tomorrow. We are sure that we did it well, we knew perfectly well that Chumi was sanctioned and that he could not use the match against Eibar, but in the cup. We could not use (Rafa) Mujica either," he said.
"We are convinced of what we have done, we have acted in an absolutely correct way, we have won where we had to win, it is very clear."
Winger Malcom was not involved on Thursday and has been linked with a move away from the Nou Camp this month. However, Valverde says he will be in Barcelona's squad for the game against Leganes at the weekend.
"We have him, yes, he is a player with very important qualities and we want to see them, this Sunday he starts again, he can enter the squad."