Saturday 25 March 2023 becomes a date of biblical resonance for Levante fans. Levante were officially proclaimed champions of the Copa España Libre 86 years after it was first played on the pitch.The Copa España Libre-Trofeo Presidente de la República was formally disputed between June and July 1937. Espanyol, Gerona, Valencia and Levante competed in a format that pitted the four contenders for the title against each other over two legs. Levante and Valencia CF played the final at the Estadio Sarrià on 18 July 1937 (1-0). Nieto scored the goal that sealed the victory for the Poblados Marítimos team. This competition closed the 1936-1937 sporting year. On Republican soil, that football exercise was born with the everlasting regional championships. The Mediterranean League proceeded to the cup format. “Three competitions have been held during the season”, warned El Mundo Deportiva on Monday 19 July 1937 in an attempt to offer an extra measure of normality and recognition to the work of federation officials who tried to clone the competitions that had been taking place in the football calendar.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation, at the meeting of its board of directors held in Malaga, decided to approve the recognition of the Copa de la España Libre “Levante Unión Deportiva and the Federation of the Valencian Community brought to the attention of the RFEF, in 2019, a series of facts of a sporting nature to request the recognition of the title, always recognising the RFEF the exceptional nature of the moment and the context of civil war in which the tournament took place”, explained the RFEF, which indicated that they took into consideration “the FIFA agreements of 6 and 7 November”, held in Paris, as well as “the agreements adopted by the highest body of world football in Calcutta in October 2017″.

The official announcement of the tournament coincided with Levante’s visit to Cantabria in the hours prior to the match between Calleja’s side and Racing Club at El Sardinero. Quico Catalán expressed his feelings after the confirmation of the conformity of the trophy. “All Levante fans were dreaming that the Federation would recognise this trophy that one day was won by some brave players who have made our history proud. It is a very nice satisfaction. The whole of Valencia should be thrilled that Levante have won a title. And it has won a title because it has been recognised, even if it has always been in our hearts. It is a very big day. We have made official something that was ours, that was our own, that was Levante Unión Deportiva’s,” he added with a touch of emotion for the club’s official media.

A historical debt was settled. The club has fought boldly in recent years for its legality. The recognition of the Copa España Libre has been extended in time since it began to recover its effervescence at the beginning of the third millennium. The process has been full of thorns and setbacks. The attached document demonstrates the complexity of its definitive approval.

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