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    Sunday, January 16, 2022

    Suspended Game in Spain to Resume Without Injured Player

    The Copa del Rey match suspended after an object was thrown from the stands will resume Sunday behind closed doors and without the Sevilla player hit in the head in what the club called an “appalling attack.”

    Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordán was doing well at home but will not play when the match between his club and Real Betis restarts from the 39th minute with the score tied at 1-1 at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.

    Jordán had been taken to a hospital after being hit by a piece of PVC hurled from the stands while Betis was celebrating Nabil Fekir’s equalizer before halftime in the round-of-16 match between the fierce Seville rivals.

    Jordán underwent a series of tests and was diagnosed with a head trauma. He will remain under observation for at least 24 hours, the Spanish soccer federation said Sunday.

    The federation said it wanted to avoid major logistical challenges by keeping the match at the Villamarín stadium, but no fans will be allowed “to guarantee the match ends without new incidents, considering the seriousness of what happened.”

    Sevilla tried to postpone the match until a later date so it could count on Jordán, but the federation’s competitions committee denied its request.

    The match will restart 4 p.m. local time (1500 GMT), just hours before the Spanish Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao takes place in Saudi Arabia. Only one other Copa del Rey match was scheduled for Sunday, with Valencia visiting Atlético Baleares.

    Spanish media said the person who threw the object from the stands was taken into custody by police.

    “Sevilla condemns the violent act suffered by Joan Jordán, an unacceptable act in the world of sport committed by an individual who, of course, does not represent the fans of Real Betis or the way of living football in our city,” Sevilla said in a statement early Sunday. “Likewise, the club demands the utmost respect for Joan Jordán, a true professional and an exemplary person who has suffered an appalling attack.”

    Betis players condemned the incident but some accused Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui of trying to urge Jordán to go down after being hit.

    “Shameful and unjustifiable act by someone who does not represent our fans,” Betis substitute Víctor Camarasa said on Twitter. “I hope that Joan Jordán is OK, but we all heard (even the assistant referee) his coach tell him to ‘be dizzy and drop to the ground.’”

    The Seville derby is notorious for being Spain’s most fiercely contested crosstown rivalry. In 2007, Sevilla coach Juande Ramos was knocked unconscious when he was hit in the head by a bottle thrown by a Betis fan.

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