Barcelona have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Spanish Football Federation after El Mundo suggested the Catalan club played an ineligible player against Levante in the Copa del Rey last week.
Ernesto Valverde fielded Chumi during the shock 2-1 first leg defeat despite the center-back not having served a suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards with Barca B.
El Mundo cited article 56.3 of the disciplinary code, which says: “Until the sanction is complete with his team, he cannot participate in the superior categories. The suspended player cannot play for any those teams or clubs, until he has missed the number of weeks of the sanction in the category the infraction was committed.”
However, Barcelona pleaded innocence in their decision to play the La Masia graduate, telling Reuters that the defender was eligible to play the Cup tie.
The defending Copa del Rey champions made the distinction between serious and 'light' suspensions, saying that the latter are served in the competition they are earned in - such is the case with the accumulation of cards.
Consequently, Chumi sat out Barca B's league match on the weekend against Alcoyano.
Speaking on Radio Catalyuna, a representative of the Royal Spanish Football Federation supported Barcelona's interpretation of the rule, confirming that Chumi's Segunda B suspension did not transfer across to the Copa del Rey.
Famously, Real Madrid were kicked out out of the competition in 2015 when they fielded Denis Cheryshev without realizing he had picked up a suspension the previous season while on loan with Villarreal.