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Barcelona coach Xavi denied entry to United States for pre-season tour due to previous visits to Iran

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The Barcelona coach traveled to the airport with his squad on Saturday but was not able to join them on the flight to the United States due to previous visits to Iran

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez was not able to travel with his squad to start their pre-season tour of the United States on Saturday.

The Blaugrana jetted off to the US to start their 17-day tour of the nation which will involve multiple training sessions and pre-season friendly matches. Still, their boss has not been able to join them on their plane journey due to a delay in documentation.

Xavi has visited Iran three times in the last five years, due to his former association with Qatari club Al Sadd as both a player and coach, meaning that he needed to provide extra documentation to the US authorities to justify his reasons for so many visits to the Middle Eastern nation – due to its relations with the US.

The relevant documentation had been due to arrive on Friday but there has been a delay, meaning that the coach of the Catalan giants now must wait until Monday until he can join his squad in the US as he waits for an update.

Xavi had travelled to the Barcelona airport with his players in expectation of being part of the journey as the club believed they had fixed the relevant bureaucratic requirement, but the trip did not receive the green light and he had to remain in Catalonia.

Xavi had travelled with his squad to the airport but was unable to take the flight to the US ( Image: Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Five Barcelona players were excluded from the tour as Xavi aims to seek exits for them from the club in the coming weeks. Goalkeeper Neto, defenders Oscar Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti, midfielder Riqui Puig and striker Martin Braithwaite were all omitted from the squad as the club seeks to find buyers

Frenkie de Jong – heavily linked with a transfer to Manchester United – is in the squad alongside Memphis Depay, who may be moved on in this transfer window. Ousmane Dembele is included after penning a new contract while new signings Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen are included.

Barca’s tour of the US will start on 20 July against Inter Miami in Florida before facing Real Madrid in Las Vegas four days later and then taking on Juventus in Dallas on 26 July. They will conclude their tour of the US with a clash against New York Red Bulls on 31 July.

Barcelona’s 28-man squad for their pre-season trip to the United States : Ter Stegen, Dest, Pique, Araujo, Busquets, Dembele, Pedri, Memphis, Ansu Fati, Nico, Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Eric Garcia, Aubameyang, Gavi, Inaki Pena, Pjanic, Collado, Kessie, Christensen, Raphinha, Arnau Tenas, Pablo Torre, Balde, Abde, Casado.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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