Barcelona await ash cloud advice

 52920686 pep Barcelona await ash cloud advice

Guardiola’s team were forced to travel by road to Italy in 2010

Barcelona’s Champions League final preparations could be disrupted by volcanic ash from Iceland as it spreads towards the United Kingdom.

The club will decide on their travel plans on Tuesday as the Grimsvotn volcano continues to cause delays.

Barcelona are planning to fly to London on Thursday for Saturday’s game against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

“If they tell us we can’t risk the trip, we’ll travel tomorrow or the day after,” said Barca boss Pep Guardiola.

“If not, we’ll travel like we planned. We will not take any risks.”

Barcelona were forced to travel to Italy by road to play Inter Milan in last season’s Champions League semi-final first leg, a match they lost 3-1, after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted, causing huge disruptions to air travel across Europe.

University of Edinburgh volcanologist John Stevenson described Grimsvotn’s eruption as “the most powerful” to hit Iceland in over 50 years.

However, the density of the ash and the wind direction has so far meant the disruptions have not been as widespread as last year’s events.

“I hope the volcano sleeps a little bit longer,” said Guardiola, who is hoping to win his second European Cup medal at Wembley following his success as a player in 1992 with Barcelona.

“What matters is what they tell us, whatever they say we’ll do with the maximum anticipation possible.”

However, the Spaniard dismissed the possibility of delaying the final if the volcanic ash caused any further disruption to air travel plans.

But the plans of up to 12,000 travelling fans from Catalonia could be thrown into disarray if the cloud continues to spread and causes widespread disruptions.

“The final will be on Saturday,” he said. “Uefa won’t change the date of the final.

“Let’s hope that the volcano doesn’t disrupt travel plans of all the fans who want to go.

“Lots and lots of people – 10,000 or 12,000 people – will travel by plane on the same day and might not be able to change those plans.

“That could be a handicap. It would be terrible to play a final where half of the stands are empty.”

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