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Catalan government prohibits fans at Barça’s Camp Nou for Gamper Trophy games

For the first time this year, the women’s team will also take part in the prestigious annual pre-season warm-up match

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28 July 2021 12:38 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

FC Barcelona will not be able to host 20% of the capacity of the Camp Nou as originally planned for the Joan Gamper Trophy games against Juventus, as reported by Catalunya Ràdio on Wednesday and confirmed on Thursday. 

The Catalan government reversed its decision to allow the event to go ahead with such a large crowd following weeks of skyrocketing coronavirus contagion and increased hospitalizations.

Instead, the club will host the prestigious men’s and women’s pre-season games against the Italian giants in the Johan Cruyff stadium, where 3,000 fans will be able to attend. 

The annual summer friendly game, which comes with a trophy named after the blaugrana’s founder, is incorporating the women’s team into the tradition for the first time this year. 

The women’s team enjoyed unprecedented success last season, picking up a clean sweep of the league, cup, and Champions League in an extraordinary campaign. 

The games are scheduled for 6.30 pm (women’s) and 9.30 pm (men’s) on Saturday, August 8. 

It had been hoped that 20,000 fans would be able to see their idols in the flesh in the Camp Nou for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, but those plans were scuppered by political authorities on the grounds of the health crisis.

Hospitalizations and ICU occupancy due to Covid-19 have skyrocketed over the last couple of weeks, with the fifth wave putting a serious strain on the health system of Catalonia. 

The club now have difficult decisions to make as tickets for the larger-capacity Camp Nou had already been sold, with just few remaining. Now, some fans who purchased tickets will no longer be able to attend the games. 

In fact, there was already some disgruntlement among the Barça hierarchy at only being allowed to fill 20% of the stadium’s seats.

Normally, the club would take in roughly €6 million in earnings from the Gamper Trophy, but the Camp Nou lowered capacity games would have brought in around €1.5 million - a figure that will surely be lowered again with the game played in the Estadi Johan Cruyff.

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  • The empty stands of the Camp Nou stadium, as Barça take on Granada in La Liga (image by REUTERS/Albert Gea)

  • The empty stands of the Camp Nou stadium, as Barça take on Granada in La Liga (image by REUTERS/Albert Gea)

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