A laudable gesture from Barcelona has gone sour after it emerged that the giants’ men’s and women’s teams were subjected to different treatments on a landmark tour.
The Catalans made history with their first-ever mixed tour this summer, as both sides headed to the United States to prepare in pre-season.
Stars like Sergi Roberto, Nelson Semedo and Denis Suarez were pictured smiling alongside Barca women’s top talents on the plane prior to take-off.
But once the photo opportunity was over, the men’s team made themselves comfortable in business class on the flight to Portland while the women had to settle for economy tickets.
According to the club, a lack of space in business was behind the embarrassing segregation, which was noticed on social media by accounts that follow the exploits of Barca women.
Barca player Alexia Putellas added that she and her team-mates did not feel slighted by the decision, which owed to a lack of planning time for the women’s tour.
“The reason we travelled like that is because the decision for us to take part on the tour was made later,” she said to Mundo Deportivo.
“We know that the first team organises with a lot of pre-planning and we didn’t know anything about pre-season. Everything was arranged and the club made its best effort to organise at the last minute.
There was a team captains’ photo in Business Class, before the men assumed their Business Class seats & the women returned to their Economy Seats. pic.twitter.com/i96VtPIupD
— Barça Women (@BarcaWomen) 24 de julio de 2018
“Taking into account how long the flight was, we are fine. A few years ago there were very long trips, now we travel in better conditions. Before making the long journeys by coach was tough, I wish we always travelled in these conditions. We are lucky.”
Barcelona’s men, shorn of the likes of Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez, who are on post-World Cup leave, will take on Tottenham and Milan in the US as well as facing a potentially explosive game against Roma in their three International Champions Cup matches this summer.
Putellas and her team-mates, meanwhile, begin their tour with a match against SoCal FC of the Women’s Premier Soccer League on Saturday.
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