Ivan Rakitic hopeful Barcelona will escape punishment

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic hopes they will be in the draw for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, amid the controversy over their decision to select an ineligible

B team defender Juan Brandariz “Chumi” was selected to start in last week’s 2-1 first leg defeat to Levante UD, despite being suspended for receiving a fifth booking in a second division match.

This breaches the Spanish FA’s (RFEF) disciplinary code with Levante president Quico Catalan announcing his plans to complain over the matter which could expel Barcelona from the Copa del Rey.

Should Catalan have his way, then Barcelona would lose the chance to win the competition for a fifth time in a row.

“I really wanted to win this cup,” said Rakitic after Barcelona’s 3-0 second leg win on Thursday night, via Marca.

“I’ve won it every year that I’ve been here and I don’t want to stop.

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“I hope we’re in the draw.

“It’s important that the right thing is done, I think the club has done the right things and all was well and normal.”

On how he found out about Chumi’s suspension, Rakitic said: “I found out after I woke up from my nap. I had a lot of messages on my phone and it surprised me a little.

“We didn’t talk about it too much, we were focused on the game.”

Barcelona won the second leg of their last-16 tie against Levante 3-0 to book their place in the quarter-finals with a 4-2 aggregate win after Ousmane Dembele’s brace and a Lionel Messi goal at Camp Nou on Thursday night.

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