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09.09.2008 23:30

Laporta: “We have defended our sporting interests”


Joan Laporta has expressed his support for Pep Guardiola’s decision not to name any of the first team in the squad for the Copa Catalunya semi final, stating that it was sporting interests that were behind the move.

In Sant Carles de la Ràpita, the FC Barcelona president said that “we have defended the sporting interests of the team” and also suggested that changes need to be made to the format of the Copa Catalunya: “We would have liked to have come with the first team, but it wasn’t to be. I would like to ask for the format of the competition to be changed, so that it does not coincide with the FIFA calendar”.

A lack of compatibility

Joan Laporta pointed out that Pep Guardiola’s side has to play Racing Santander on Saturday and a few days later will be facing Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. With such important clashes ahead, and also considering the team “has sixteen players away on international duty” not to mention the risk “of a playing surface that the players aren’t used to” meant the fixture was simply not suitable for the first team squad.

“Decisions are needed”

“Given this conflict of interests, our obligation is clearly to make a priority of sporting issues”, added Laporta, who also felt disappointed by the “lack of sensitivity towards Barça’s interests” and convinced that “the members and fans will understand why we had to make these decisions”.

Joan Laporta also explained why he had attended the game between Barça and Sant Andreu, when he had originally announced that he would not. “I usually go to the final of the Copa Catalunya” he said. “In principle, I had decided not to come, but I felt it was especially important to be here and show my face. I really do think that an effort should be made to change the format of the competition”.
Laporta: “We have defended our sporting interests”
Sharing support
Taking advantage of the trip to Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Joan Laporta, and his vice presidents Alfons Godall and Rafael Yuste, as well as board member Xavier Bagués, visited the Peña Barcelonista “Vicenç Piera”. “We all had a lovely time sharing our support for Barça”, said the club president.

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