Soccer-Real Madrid's Marcelo called for election duty day before Chelsea clash


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Semi Final First Leg - Real Madrid v Chelsea - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid, Spain - April 27, 2021 Real Madrid's Marcelo in action with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid defender Marcelo could be prevented from playing in next week's Champions League semi-final second leg at Chelsea after being chosen to work in a polling station during a regional election, newspaper El Mundo reported on Wednesday.

Team mate Victor Chust, who is injured, has also been selected to work during the election in the region around the capital Madrid next Tuesday, the day before the match in London.

Real did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the El Mundo report.

Unless Marcelo is excused from his election-day duties, he will be unable to travel with the team the day before the game.

El Mundo said Real had appealed to the Electoral Commission but the request was denied.

A four-time Champions League winner with Real, Marcelo started Tuesday's 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea as fellow left back Ferland Mendy was injured.

Marcelo, a Brazil international, obtained Spanish nationality in 2011, a common path for South American footballers in La Liga, where there is a limit on the number of players clubs can have from outside the European Union.

All Spanish nationals on the electoral register are liable to be called up to work at polling stations, for which they are paid 65 euros ($72), and require mitigating circumstances to be excused.

Footballers being called to work at polling stations is not uncommon: Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez was named on a reserve list to work during a general election in 2019 but was excused as his side were playing Athletic Bilbao on voting day.

Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams was also excused from working at a polling station in 2015 as voting clashed with a match against Levante.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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