MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho’s ban for poking Barcelona counterpart Tito Vilanova in the eye last year has been lifted, clearing the way for the pair to meet at the Spanish Cup next month.
Mourinho had been banned for poking Vilanova in the eye during an on-field brawl at the end of a Super Cup match last year. Vilanova was suspended for one game for his retaliatory slap on Mourinho, but that was also overturned, allowing the new Barcelona coach to make his debut against Madrid.
Spanish federation president Angel Villar announced the decision Tuesday, with Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa calling it “a very bad example for football.”
The first leg is at Barcelona’s Camp Nou on Aug. 23, with the return at the Santiago Bernabeu one week later.