Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez will not take charge of his side’s first match of pre-season against Inter Miami after once again being denied entry into the United States.
The Barca boss travelled to Barcelona’s airport with his squad on Saturday but was not able to join his players on the flight to the US due to previous visits to Iran. That prompted the club to arrange for Xavi to jet out to join his squad on Tuesday but he has not yet been given the green light to travel to oversee the club’s training sessions.
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. Due to Iran’s international relations with the United States, he was requested to provide additional documentation to justify his visits to the Middle Eastern nation.
Barca had initially believed that the relevant documentation would have been sorted by Friday last week, hence Xavi’s travel to the airport the following day, but there has been a prolonged delay. That has resulted in Xavi being able to coach his side against Inter Miami in the early hours of Wednesday morning, while he has now missed at least four days of pre-season training with his players.
That means that Xavi’s brother Oscar Hernandez will take charge of the clash against their MLS opponents, while the boss will be hopeful that his documentation is sorted in time to face Real Madrid in Las Vegas four days later.
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.