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Volcanic ash cloud forces Barcelona to fly to London two days early
Published : 24 May 2011 16:09:40
Barcelona will fly into London two days early for the Champions League final as they bid to avoid travel chaos after the Icelandic volcano cloud. The Spanish giants were not due to head for England until Thursday - but they will now set off late on Tuesday evening. Up in smoke: Barcelona will fly to London earlier than scheduled because of the ash cloud Stranded: Passengers sleep on the floor at Edinburgh Airport after their flights were cancelled late last night Barca feared they would be forced into a mammoth land journey to make it over for the showdown with Manchester United on Saturday.
The Spanish giants are expected to fly into Stansted at around 11pm after being left with little choice after the volcanic eruption. Up for the battle: Barcelona will face Man United in a repeat of the 2009 Champions League final Looking over his shoulder: Pep's Barcelona have been forced to alter their travel arrangements A club statement read: 'Given the uncertainty caused by the ash from the Grimsvotn volcano, the FC Barcelona first team will travel to London today, Tuesday, at 2200 hours(2100 GMT).'
The towering plume of ash, smoke and steam hit Scotland and Ireland on Monday night, bringing disruption to airlines and leading to the cancellation of 252 flights. Stars of the show: Messi struggles with his bib, as Iniesta holds off the attentions of Busquets in training Forecasters are now predicting the plume will reach Heathrow airport by Tuesday afternoon, bringing further chaos. The warnings come a year after debris from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano spread across Europe. A travel extras website who offer cheap airport parking and cheap travel insurance advised that travel had been effect massively throughout the UK.
They're gloving it: Barca appeared in relaxed mood ahead of Saturday's mouth-watering showdown That also affected Barcelona, who were forced to travel by land to Milan for their Champions League semi-final first leg against Inter. They lost that game 3-1. On Monday, Barca manager Pep Guardiola stopped short of asking UEFA to delay Saturday's final but said: 'London is further than Milan, we might have to fly to get as nearas we can, then drive. We'll take advice from the experts and see. We have half of our supporters travelling on the day, we don't want to havehalf the stadium empty.' Barca spokesman Toni Freixa will appear at a press conference at the Nou Camp at 1700 local time (1600 BST) this afternoon to provide further information to supporters. 'I hope the volcano sleeps a little bit longer,' Guardiola added. 'The important thing is that they tell us; whatever they say we'll do with the maximum anticipation possible.' Manchester United star Hernandez could be playing football until end of JuneSir Alex Ferguson brushes off Ryan Giggs storm overshadowing Manchester United's Champions League plansFaithful Fergie! Giggs to start against Barca in Wembley final despite affair Barca facing travel chaos as Pep says road to final is clouded by Chicharito Explore more:People: Pep Guardiola Places: Barcelona, Milan, London, Scotland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, Heathrow Airport