BARCELONA - Barcelona may travel to London
for Saturday's Champions League Final as early as Tuesday
because of possible disruption to flights caused by ash
billowing from an Icelandic volcano, coach Pep Guardiola said.
Authorities have predicted ash from the Grimsvotn volcano
will cover Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of
northern Britain by on Tuesday but said they did not
expect a repeat of last year's travel chaos.
Guardiola said the Barca players and staff would not be
taking any chances ahead of the game against Manchester United
at Wembley and could bring their trip, planned for Thursday,
forward and take a land route rather than fly.
"We need advice from the experts of course," he told a news
conference at the Spanish club's Nou Camp stadium.
"Let´s see what they tell us and if they say we shouldn´t
risk it we´ll travel tomorrow or the day after.
"Seeing as the volcano has been asleep for a couple of years
I hope it will be asleep for a couple more days."
Barca were forced to travel by bus to Milan for their
Champions League semi-final first leg against Inter last season
after a different Icelandic volcano erupted and caused air
travel gridlock across Europe.
They lost the match 3-1 and went out 3-2 on aggregate after
the return leg in Barcelona.
Guardiola said it was out of the question UEFA would
postpone Saturday's match, a repeat of the 2009 final in Rome
which Barca won 2-0.
He said he was concerned some of the around 20,000
supporters planning to travel to England would have trouble
making the trip from the Catalan capital.
"I hope the news tomorrow (Tuesday) will be good because at
the end of the day this is a show for the people," the
40-year-old former Barca and Spain player said.
"It would be very sad to be there in a final and have half
the stadium empty because people couldn't travel.
"It is important to have people there but I don't think that
we could ever delay the final. I hope we can get there but also
the fans as it would be pointless to be there without them."
Europe's air traffic control organisation said on Monday if
volcanic emissions continued at the same rate the cloud could
reach western French and northern Spanish airspace on Thursday.
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