Mateu Lahoz in charge of El Clasico Copa Del Rey final

Fifa official Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz will take charge of the El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid in this season’s Copa Del Rey final at the Mestalla.

At the helm: Mateu Lahoz has been tasked with handling the third El Clasico meeting of the season in the Copa Del Rey final - his second major appointment as a Spanish top-flight official
At the helm: Mateu Lahoz has been tasked with handling the third El Clasico meeting of the season in the Copa Del Rey final – his second major appointment as a Spanish top-flight official

ANTONIO Miguel Mateu Lahoz will referee the El Clasico meeting between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the 2014 Copa Del Rey final.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RSFF) have confirmed the experienced 37-year-old from Valencia will take charge of the showpiece at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday.

Lahoz has never overseen an El Clasico in La Liga or the Copa Del Rey but officiated a Supercopa second leg at the Bernabeu in August 2012, dismissing Barca full-back Adriano for a professional foul on Cristiano Ronaldo, with Real winning on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate scoreline.

The Fifa official, who has been a Champions League and Europa League mainstay since 2011, is regarded as one of the most permissive La Liga whistlers in allowing games to flow without too many stoppages.

Pau Cebrian Devis and Raul Cabanero Martinez will be the assistant referees while Aragon’s Carlos Clos Gomez – who oversaw Atletico’s 2-1 Madrid derby win over Real in last season’s final – is the fourth official.

Lahoz has brandished 156 yellows and seven red cards in 30 games in all competitions this season, whilst awarding ten penalties.

He has been in the middle for three Barcelona matches in La Liga as well as one each in La Liga and the Copa Del Rey for Real Madrid in 2013-14.

The Physical Education teacher was in charge of Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Marseille at the Emirates in the Champions League group stages in October, giving the Gunners a first-half spotkick which Mesut Ozil missed.

Additionally, he handled a 3-0 win for Tottenham over Inter Milan in the last 16 phase of the Europa League last season and cautioned Gareth Bale for diving in the penalty area at White Hart Lane.

Lahoz was given a one-match suspension for a “technical error” in Barcelona’s 3-2 La Liga victory over Sevilla in October 2012 after controversially sending off Gary Medel for an alleged headbutt on Cesc Fabregas before ordering Sevilla boss Michel to the stands and failing to spot a Thiago handball in the build-up to Fabregas’s equaliser.

He was overlooked by Fifa as Spain’s representative at this summer’s World Cup, with Carlos Velasco Carballo selected instead.

The RFEF were due to announce the appointment last week but postponed due to Fifa sanctions levied against the governing body.

Barca have won two league encounters against Real so far this term – a 2-1 victory at the Nou Camp in October and a thrilling 4-3 triumph at the Bernabeu last month, both of which were refereed by Alberto Undiano Mallenco.

The eagerly anticipated 111th Copa Del Rey final kicks off at 21:30 (European Central Time) on April 16, with live coverage exclusively on Sky Sports.


Mateu Lahoz lines up with mascot Image by Ronnie MacDonald via Creative Commons License

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