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13.05.2009 09:51

Institutional Fair-Play'

David Saura (special correspondent)

A dinner organized by the Spanish FA was held between the directors of FC Barcelona and Athletic Club on the eve of the Cup Final. There was an excellent atmosphere among all those present.

Every season, the Spanish FA organizes a meeting between the two finalists. This year the dinner was hosted by ┴ngel M.Villar, and was celebrated in the Restaurante Veles e Vents, in the old Port Authority building in Valencia.

The Barša representatives were led by Club president Joan Laporta together with vice-presidents Jaume Ferrer, Joan Boix and Joan Franquesa, plus a large number of directors. In his speech, Laporta mentioned “a generation of Barša fans that never experienced this feeling” in reference to the 11 years that have passed since the Club’s last appearance in a Cup final in 1998, also in Valencia.

Two clubs with a lot in common

_1rs3226.jpgJoan Laporta also highlighted the similarities between the two clubs. Both teams are famous for their Cup exploits, the success of their academy systems and the social weight of the two clubs in Catalonia and the Basque country.

Sportsmanship and responsibility

Joan Laporta referred back to the 1984 Cup Final between the same two clubs which ended up in a fight between players. He called for responsible, sporting behaviour. “Neither football, nor Barša nor Athletic Club deserve to drag up the memory of that final in ’84. We have to put that behind us forever. We have a unique opportunity. The fans have to set an example and the world of football has to know that Cup matches between Barša and Athletic Club are also a celebration”.

Words in Basque

Finally, Laporta spoke in Basque: “Sporting behaviour is our flag. We have too much history not to enjoy the Final. Let’s hope we’re lucky. And may the memory of this Final unite Barša and Athletic Club for ever”.
Institutional Fair-Play'
Minister for Sport
Among those present at the dinner was the Spanish Minister for Sport Jaime Lissavetsky.

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