Julen Lopetegui has spoken out about the incident that derailed Sevilla’s Copa del Rey last 16 tie with Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin two weeks ago. The game was suspended in the 39th minute after a Betis supporter threw a missile at Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan, striking him in the head.
The score was 1-1 at the time, with Betis having just equalised after Nabil Fekir scored directly from a corner kick. The match was restarted the following day at the same stadium but with no supporters present. Sergio Canales scored the winner in the second half to send Sevilla out of the Copa and Betis through.
“There was an attack,” Lopetegui told El Partidazo de Cope in comments carried by Marca. “I immediately told the referee that the conditions to continue playing aren’t met. Joan Jordan is beginning to feel worse and I urged him to sit down and have the doctor come in. That’s all that happened.
“The stick could do damage and, in fact, it did. It seems to me a perverse nuance, absolutely perverse, to say the opposite. If we begin to try and qualify it, we’re wrong. The only thing that happened was an assault, that a player felt unwell and we urged our doctor to see him. There’s absolutely nothing more to it.”
Sevilla and Betis are both flying in La Liga. The former are embroiled in a title battle with Real Madrid, just four points shy with the same number of games played. The latter are six points behind Sevilla in third place. Both clubs are also still alive in the Europa League. Betis play Real Sociedad in the quarter-final of the Copa this Thursday evening in San Sebastian.
The “missile” that was thrown onto the field was a short length of a 3/4 inch plastic flag pole that had broken off. It could not have caused any physical “damage” unless it had struck the player in the eye. The player was instructed to feign serious head injury, which he did. Typical of all the fake injuries and diving that goes on in the “Princess League.” Notice there are no public doctor’s reports about any “damage” to the player. All of this injury faking in La Liga is a real detriment to the game.
The Betis fan who threw the “missile” onto the field should be criminally prosecuted and banned for life from the stadium.