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Getafe must face Barca behind closed doors after 2017 pitch invasion

BARCELONA (AFP) – Getafe will face champions Barcelona without supporters at home in the first match of the new La Liga season after being punished for a pitch invasion in 2017.

Spain’s Supreme Court, the country’s highest judicial body, overturned a decision from the National Court to annul the sanction, in a document seen by AFP yesterday.

Getafe supporters invaded the pitch at the Madrid club’s Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium after beating Tenerife to earn promotion to La Liga six years ago, provoking opposition supporters and forcing the match officials to run to their dressing room.

The visit of Barcelona is one of the most lucrative fixtures of the season for Getafe, but president Angel Torres said he was sad for the supporters.

“If what they want is to punish our fans, we will have no choice but to accept it,” Torres told AS on Monday.

“I feel more sorry for our fans than for the club’s finances.”

Getafe host Barcelona on August 13, on the La Liga opening weekend.

The Supreme Court decided Getafe were not being punished twice for the same incident after the Madrid government had fined the club.

This dispute contributed to the long delay in fulfilling the sanction and was the reason the National Court decided to cancel it.

Espanyol were hit with a two-game stadium closure after their fans invaded the pitch and chased away Barcelona players in May.

The Catalan giants clinched the 2022-23 title against their city rivals and celebrated on the pitch, with Espanyol fans storming the field in anger.