Copa del Rey format to change

The format of the Copa del Rey will change from the 2019-20 onwards with fewer matches, it has been reported in Spain.

The cup competition is played over two legs from the last 32 stage through to the semi-finals – the rounds in which top-flight clubs are involved.

Now, the matches at the last 32 stage (when La Liga clubs enter the tournament) and in the last 16 will be played over just one leg, rather than two.

The move follows a meeting between league chief Javier Tebas and Luis Rubiales, the newly-elected head of the Spanish FA.

Such actions could not be taken sooner due to the fractious relationship between Tebas and Angel Maria Villar, the predecessor to Rubiales.

Marca summarises the changes, which means fewer matches for top-flight games but the format of the Copa has been a source of controversy over the years, with criticism that it is weighted too heavily in favour of leading clubs in Spain.

Barcelona have won the tournament in each of the past four seasons, beating Sevilla 5-0 in this campaign's final.

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