FC Barcelona has said it expects to open the 2021-22 LaLiga season with fans in attendance at the Camp Nou after it was forced to switch the Joan Gamper Trophy to Estadi Johan Cruyff.

Barcelona fans had been poised to return to the Camp Nou for the first time in 17 months after local health authorities gave the green light for the stadium to open at 20% capacity for the Joan Gamper Trophy matches against Juventus on August 8.

The capacity limit was set to allow 19,869 spectators to attend as Barcelona’s men’s and women’s teams both play against Juventus on the same day.

However, the Government of Catalonia has withdrawn its support for the event. Government spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, said yesterday (Thursday): “The health data forces us to take restrictive measures that affect sports competitions. 

“The new resolution limits the maximum capacity to 3,000 people. It affects the Joan Gamper Trophy, which will now be held at the Estadi Johan Cruyff.”

Barcelona later confirmed the news, stating its 6,000-capacity Estadi Johan Cruyff will be used to stage the event, with a maximum of 3,000 spectators allowed in accordance with the Government’s regulations on venues with a capacity for less than 15,000 people.

Barcelona said that 14,000 tickets had already been sold for the Joan Gamper Trophy at the Camp Nou, adding that a refund process will be opened and a new ticket sales process launched.

Barcelona played matches behind closed doors for the entire 2020-21 season, with fans having last attended the Camp Nou on March 7, 2020.

The club added in a statement: “From talks between Barça and the Generalitat (Government) it would appear that there is full commitment to allowing the Camp Nou to open its doors again, albeit with capacity restrictions, on August 15 in time for the first game of the Liga season at home to Real Sociedad.”

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