16 February 2012

Freixas: “The Bernabéu is the best option for the good of football”

The secretary and spokesman for the Board of Directors has said that considering previous finals and the desire to play in the biggest stadium possible, Real Madrid’s ground would be the best option for this year’s Copa del Rey final. The Santiago Bernabéu, reckons Freixa, “is also the best choice for the Federation”. If the Spanish Football Federation decides against the proposal made by the two finalists, Freixa has said that the Camp Nou should not be offered as an alternative “because the ground should be neutral” .

Toni Freixa has made it clear where the club believes the forthcoming Copa del Rey final should be played after both FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao met the Spanish Federation on Monday. The two finalists would like to see the game played at the Santiago Bernabéu. However, he revealed today that the club has not heard any further news on the matter, although wherever the game is eventually played "we intend to fully go along with whatever the Spanish Football Federation considers best". However, the spokesman insisted that FCB will still be pushing the Federation to "look into all possibilities. We shall be defending the idea that the venue should be that one for the good of football".

FC Barcelona "is currently waiting an official response in order to look at other options if this one is not to be ... Our main criterion is the capacity. We have a lot of very dedicated supporters. If it turns out that the Bernabéu isn't possible, although we have every hope that it is, we shall look at other options." But Freixa insisted that the Camp Nou should not be offered as an alternative "because the ground should be neutral."

Freixa also said that the Club "is taking its request very seriously, always for the good of the members ... This is the most important game that the Federation organises ... Our sport has to take on such ambitious challenges. It would be an example of civility and sportsmanship for a Basque team and a Catalan team to play each other in the capital of Spain."

But he added that Real Madrid "has every right not to want to host this final ... But if we look at tradition, a lot of finals have been played at the Bernabéu ... The objective reason is the stadium's capacity. But it is also the best option for the Federation. However, we obviously also need the authorisation of the owners of the stadium."

Freixa reiterated that Barça is still waiting to hear the Federation's verdict. "We understand that Spanish football, the FC Barcelona members and those of Athletic Club Bilbao deserve a lot more respect than the information that is filtering through into public knowledge but that is not official. There are ways of doing things, and all we want to do to is defend the interests of our members". He ended by saying that "FC Barcelona would be proud to be able to host a Copa del Rey final". (via FCBarcelona.cat)