MADRID: The formats for the Copa del Rey and domestic Super Cup are being upgraded by the Spanish football federation.

From next season the cup will abandon its traditional two-leg format for a single match knockout with the exception of the semi-finals, which remain a two-leg tie.

Clubs involved in the expanded Super Cup – Barcelona, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid – will not have to participate in the first two rounds of the cup whose final will be on April 18, 2020.

The Spanish Super Cup is evolving from a two-leg tie between the winners of league and cup to a four team competition. Both Spanish Cup finalists and the top two in La Liga will participate. If a team is in the cup final and the top two in La Liga, the place would pass down to the next team in the league table.

The Super Cup will take place in January rather than at the start of the season, with the semi-finals on January 8 and 9 and the final on January 12.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales has denied that a deal had been agreed to stage the Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia. A report to that effect provoked an angry backlash over Saudi human rights curbs.

Rubiales said: “We are still working on it. Nothing has been signed. Saudi Arabia is an option and we have not denied that. We are looking for the best thing for the teams and the players and the referees. The United States is an option, we have had proposals from there too. We have to look at what would be best for everyone.”

Last season Barcelona won the Super Cup in Tangier, Morocco, beating Sevilla as the game was played outside of Spain for the first time.