Barcelona, the leaders of La Liga this season, are preparing to submit an official application to count one of their championships achieved in the era of the Spanish Civil War.
ESPN confirmed that Barcelona intends to claim through official channels the Spanish league title for the 1936-1937 season.
The tournament was held under the name of the Mediterranean League during the civil war, but the Spanish federation did not count it because it was not under its flag.
The network quoted a source within the club, "Catalan", as saying that "the Committee of historical memory of Barcelona will prepare a report to be submitted to the club, and then the administration will claim again the validity of the title that was won in 1937."
Barcelona had already made a similar request in 2009, when Juan Laporta was also the president of the club, given that Levante was a cup champion that year (1937), and was officially adopted, and this was the view of "Barça".
Barcelona have requested that the RFEF validate their Mediterranean League title victory from 1937. (ESPN)
The competition is not officially recognised by Spanish football's governing body. pic.twitter.com/1pRVRL78TC
— Football España (@footballespana_) March 26, 2023
In the same year (2009), the Spanish Football Federation voted against this recognition, and refused to award the cup title to Levante, because the competition was not organized by it.
However, on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the direct request of its president, Luis Rubiales, the current Council of the Spanish Federation approved the official recognition of the Spanish Free Cup (the name of the tournament during the Civil War), and the decision is expected to be approved at the General Assembly of the Spanish Federation, scheduled to be held next summer.
In that intended final, Levante beat Valencia by a goal.
Barcelona, who were quick to congratulate Levante on this recognition, believe that they also have the right to have their title recognized, even though the tournament was organized by the Mediterranean League of the authorities of the Republic as an alternative to the National League.
𝐋𝐚 𝐂𝐨𝐩𝐚 𝐞́𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚 🏆🐸
ℹ️ https://t.co/zRssTg4gFg pic.twitter.com/qNelBVy4nF
— Levante UD 🐸 (@LevanteUD) March 25, 2023
The network explains that the Catalan Football Federation organized this edition of the league championship at the request of the Spanish Federation, and eight clubs participated: Barcelona, Espanyol, Girona, Valencia, Levante, Gimnástic, Granulers and Athletic de Castellón.
At that stage, expectations were that Real Madrid (Madrid FC at the time) and Atletico Madrid could participate in the tournament, but because the Spanish capital remained under the control of the democratic government, the participation of the two teams in a tournament organized by the Catalan federation was not advisable, in addition to the unwillingness of officials to host the tournament matches in Madrid.
ESPN asserts that after the end of the civil war in 1939, the Spanish government headed by dictator General Francisco Franco annulled the results of the 1937 leagues and cups.
But in 2005, a bill was submitted to the Spanish Congress in order to recognize the Copa del Rey title to Levante, followed by Barcelona to claim the league title.
It is noteworthy that Barcelona succeeded in winning the Spanish league title 26 times, and is very close to winning the 27th title, as it is 12 points ahead of rivals Real Madrid (35 titles), 12 rounds before the end of the league.
Levante have never won the Copa del Rey and, if the 1937 title is approved next summer, it will be their only title in their history.