Football players are known to have missed important games for a variety of unusual reasons, but rarely due to local elections.
But that”s the reason why Real Madrid could be without defender Marcelo for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.
The Brazilian full-back has been called for duties at a polling station in Madrid’s regional vote on Tuesday, one day before Madrid’s rematch with Chelsea in London.
All Spanish citizens listed on the electoral register can be called to work at polling stations for €65 pay, and need mitigating circumstances to be excused.
The Brazilian player was granted Spanish citizenship in 2011.
Marcelo did not initially appeal against the summons and the club is studying all possible solutions to free their player from attending his duties.
The decision on polling station attendees was made on April 5, and, according to the Spanish press, the player had seven days “to plead justified and documented cause” to prevent him from being accepted.
If further appeals are unsuccessful, Marcelo will not be able to travel with the Real Madrid squad on polling day and would have to join his teammates on matchday.
While the club is concerned that the player will miss training, the delay could also complicate Real Madrid’s COVID-19 testing protocols.
Marcelo played 77 minutes of Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Tuesday, in the absence of French defender Ferland Mendy.
Next week’s second leg at Stamford Bridge will decide whether the 13-time UEFA Champions League winners will progress to the final.
Real Madrid’s youth player Víctor Chust has also been called up to a polling station next Tuesday.
In 2015, Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams was excused from working at a polling station because voting clashed with his team’s match against Levante.