Angry Guardiola blames Spanish FA for game delay

Oleh: admin
December 5, 2010

By Alastair Himmer	    * Barca thought Osasuna game postponed due to
strike 

* Amidst confusion Barca dash by train and bus to Pamplona	

* Match starts 50 mins late, they win 3-0	

(Recasts with quotes from Guardiola)	

By Mark Elkington	

MADRID, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola
was furious with the Spanish football federation (RFEF) for
the confusion that led to his team making a late dash by train
and bus to play a La Liga match at Osasuna on Saturday.	

The Spanish champions made the 350-km journey after a
strike by Spanish air traffic controllers dashed their plans
to fly direct to Pamplona on the morning of the game.	

Barca put out a statement early in the afternoon to say
they had an agreement to postpone the match to Sunday, but
this was soon contradicted by the RFEF and Osasuna, who
insisted the match went ahead as scheduled.	

Barca arrived at the Reyno de Navarra just before the
start time of 1900 GMT, and after a 50-minute delay they went
on to win 3-0 with two goals from Lionel Messi to stay top of
the standings.	

"The federation told us that if the plane didn't leave the
game would be postponed," Guardiola told reporters after the
match.	

"The country has suffered a huge problem. We were just
some more amidst 400,000 stranded travellers. We had
considered catching a train but AENA (Spain's airport
authority) told us we might be able to fly at 11.00 today.	

"We never travel the same day by coach. To play against
Osasuna who had not lost at home in 12 matches we wanted to be
at our best.	

MILAN TRIP	

"We don't mind travelling, last year we went 14 hours by
coach to play in the Champions League (a semi-final first leg
against Inter Milan due to a volcanic ash cloud), because UEFA
said they wouldn't postpone.	

"Now we know how this country works and when the
federation is put under pressure, we have travelled because we
preferred to come than to lose three points."	

The RFEF revealed how they had played their part in the
confusion when secretary general Jorge Perez spoke to radio
station RAC1, earlier in the day.	

"It was an initiative by the federation to postpone the
game," he said. "We wanted the game to be played this weekend,
but Osasuna were never in agreement."	

Barcelona put a detailed statement on their website
listing what had happened throughout the day.	

"At 1.30 in the afternoon, the federation confirmed the
postponement to our president and at 3 o'clock for unknown
reasons they changed their opinion and told us the match would
go ahead as planned," Barca vice president Jordi Cardoner told
Spanish media.	

"Obviously there has been a misunderstanding."	

Saturday's other two matches were unaffected.
 Valencia travelled by coach to the Spanish capital on Friday
afternoon to play Real Madrid on Saturday, in a match they
lost 2-0.	

Atletico Madrid went in the opposite direction, also by
coach, and lost 2-0 at Valencia-based Levante on Saturday.	

(Writing by Mark Elkington; Editing by Alastair Himmer; To
query or comment on this story email
sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)	


		
		
		


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