Malaysia-Barcelona venue changed over poor pitch

Updated: 10 August 2013 16:06 IST

The Spanish club said in a statement on their website that they "could not compromise the well being of our players".

Malaysia-Barcelona venue changed over poor pitch

Kuala Lumpur:

Malaysian match organisers have changed the venue for a friendly with Barcelona due to the uneven pitch, which the sports minister decried Saturday as "an embarrassment" to the country.


The Spanish club said in a statement on their website that they "could not compromise the well being of our players".

The La Liga champions said team executives and match organisers decided late Friday to move Saturday night's game with a Malaysian XI because of the "poor pitch conditions" at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

The match will now be held at the slightly smaller 69,000-capacity Shah Alam stadium on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur, where the Barcelona team trained Thursday.

"In the contract we included the possibility (to change venue) if the pitch did not meet the necessary conditions," Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu said in the statement.

Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he had already pointed out the "quite terrible" pitch conditions at Bukit Jalil and ordered the stadium closed from October for upgrading.

"This is certainly an embarrassment for the country's reputation and causes inconvenience to supporters who have already bought tickets," he wrote in a statement on Facebook.

Hamidin Amin, general secretary of the Football Association of Malaysia, said Barcelona were unhappy with the ground as "they said certain parts are not even".

Barcelona arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to play a Malaysia XI after visiting Thailand as part of an Asian tour. They begin their La Liga defence on August 18.

The Catalan side last visited Asia -- home to a massive fan base and huge potential revenue in sponsorship -- three years ago.



Topics : Football Samuel Eto'o Fils Barcelona AC Milan Levski Sofia
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