Barcelona’s Champions League preparations could be disrupted by
an erupting Icelandic volcano for the second year running, with the
club considering traveling to London for the final from Tuesday to
avoid any complications.
The club will make a decision after receiving the latest
information about the Grimsvotn volcano, with ash already causing
delays to air travel in Scotland.
”I hope the volcano sleeps a little bit longer,” Guardiola
said from Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium on Monday.
The volcano began spewing a dense cloud of ash on Saturday,
forcing one airline to cancel nearly all of its flights and
officials to consider airspace closures. The ash could reach
Scottish airspace from Tuesday and affect other parts of Britain
and Ireland later this week.
Barcelona planned to travel Thursday for Saturday’s game against
Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.
”What matters is what they tell us, whatever they say we’ll do
with the maximum anticipation possible,” Guardiola said. ”If they
tell us we can’t risk the trip then we’ll travel tomorrow or the
day after. If not, we’ll travel like we planned.
”We will not take any risks.”
Barcelona traveled to Italy by bus for last year’s Champions
League semifinal at Inter Milan after an eruption at a different
volcano closed European airspace. Barcelona lost the first leg and
was eventually knocked out in the semifinals.
Guardiola dismissed the possibility that UEFA would consider
moving the date of the final, and said the club would travel as
close to London as possible and then drive if necessary.
”Let’s hope that the volcano doesn’t disrupt travel plans of
all the fans who want to go,” Guardiola said. ”That could be a
handicap. It would be terrible to play a final where half of the
stands are empty.”
In April 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull eruption grounded thousands
of flights because officials were worried that ash could harm jet
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi didn’t seem too concerned about
possible travel disruptions this year.
”It’s up to the coach to decide what we do,” the Argentina