Barcelona raised many eyebrows this week when they released a statement over Espanyol fans not being able to enter the stadium in the upcoming Catalan derby.
In the statement, it was mentioned that Espanyol fans would be barred from entering the stadium. Anyone with a white and blue shirt or the club’s emblem will also not be allowed to attend the game at Camp Nou later this month.
The decision was made in order to avoid a situation like last season when 30,000 Eintracht Frankfurt fans overran the entire stadium.
However, according to TV3 (h/t AS), Barcelona have backtracked on the decision to bar Espanyol fans from the stadium. Espanyol fans will now be able to buy tickets as anyone else and anyone wearing the kit or the emblem will not be prevented from attending the derby.
This comes after widespread criticism that was caused in the aftermath of Barcelona’s decision. Espanyol fans took to social media to complain about the lack of tickets for visiting fans, ultimately leading Barça to change their stance.
However, even though Espanyol fans can now buy tickets as usual, Barcelona have confirmed that they must be secluded in a particular area of the stadium. Yet again, this is because the club do not want Camp Nou to get overrun with away fans.
Barcelona and Espanyol have historically had problems hosting matches between the two due to the close geographical proximity of the two teams. Hence, the recent controversy surrounding Barça’s move is hardly a surprise.
The Catalan rivals meet each other on December 31, in what will be Barcelona’s first match after the mid-season break due to the FIFA World Cup.