Marcelo, a fullback for Real Madrid, may have to miss next week’s second leg of his team’s Champions League semi final match against Chelsea owing to patriotic commitments. The 32-year-old had been scheduled to play at Stamford Bridge the day before he was called up for election duty in Madrid.
Real Madrids Marcelo May May Miss Game For Election Duty
In many ways, the selection process for election duty in the United States is similar to that for jurors. If you’re a citizen of the country (Marcelo became a Spanish citizen in 2011), you’ll eventually be called upon to shoulder your fair share of the load. That means that one of the most well-known athletes in the country will be volunteering at a voting place in the next municipal elections.
There is, however, a remote possibility that Marcelo will be an exception to the rule. Under Spanish law, an individual may be excused from this duty if they have a professional responsibility that prevents them from performing it, such as participating in a match for the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world.
Given that they’re supposed to fly into London on May 4 for the match on May 5, Real Madrid are doing everything in their power to overcome this situation.
Even though Marcelo has been replaced by Ferland Mendy and so this is no longer an urgent matter, Mendy’s calf injury has rendered him doubtful for the return leg of the tie. In the opening leg of the competition, the Spanish heavyweights and the English club Chelsea played to a 1-1 draw, with Chelsea holding the advantage due to away goals.
The provision that could get Marcelo out of jail reads as follows: “who must participate in public events to be held on the voting day, which are scheduled prior to the electoral call, when the interested party cannot be replaced and the non-participation of the same forces to suspend the event, producing relevant economic damages.”
There has been precedence for a football player to be excused from electoral duty, so even though Marcelo’s situation does not suit these parameters exactly, it is possible. Aitor Fernandez, the goalie for Levante, was released from his club’s service in November 2019 despite the team appealing the decision thrice.