Barcelona boss Xavi ‘STILL cannot gain entry to the USA’ due to ‘administrative and passport reasons’ caused by two trips to Iran when playing for Al Sadd… with his brother due to take charge of team for Inter Miami friendly
- Barcelona manager Xavi missed his flight to Miami ahead of pre-season tour
- ‘Administrative and passport’ issues meant Spaniard was not allowed on plane
- Having played matches in Iran for Al-Sadd, he needs a special permit for U.S
- The issue has reportedly not been resolved in time for a friendly vs Inter Miami
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández is reportedly still unable to solve his visa problems that have stopped him from gaining entry to the United States.
Xavi missed the team flight to the US earlier this week with the Catalan side working on a special visa, having seen his original ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) application rejected.
The issue stems from Xavi representing his former club Al Sadd several times in Iran and therefore he requires special permission to enter the US.
Travel advice for the USA dictates that if, after March 1 of 2011, an individual has been to Iran or Iraq, they no longer qualify for an ESTA.
The same issue crops up for those who have been to Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya or Somalia.
It proved an embarrassing oversight for Barcelona ahead of their pre-season trip to the US and while they were confident of resolving it, Marca report that Xavi remains grounded in Spain.
Barcelona boss Xavi is reportedly still unable to resolve his visa issues to get into the USA
Barcelona get the pre-season tour underway against David Beckham’s Inter Miami on Tuesday
Barcelona are due to play Inter Miami on Tuesday July 19 and the club had hoped his problems will be resolved by then.
Marca’s report adds that with no resolution found in time, Xavi’s brother Oscar will take charge of the side for their friendly against Inter Miami.
Barcelona are perhaps fortunate that the issue focuses on Xavi’s trips to Iran as a player with Al Sadd, rather than as a manager, which would have affected the rest of the coaching staff.
The Spaniard spent four seasons playing for Qatari club Al-Sadd – which causes entry issues
Xavi aside, the rest of the first-team flew out on Friday and they will now have to take instruction from afar from their manager in a blow to their pre-season preparations.
After Miami, the Catalan side will travel to Las Vegas where they’ll face Real Madrid on US soil for the second time in history, following their 2017 encounter at the Hard Rock Stadium.
They’ll then head to Dallas to face Juventus before ending the tour against the New York Red Bulls on July 30th.
Xavi will want to get to work with the first-team squad as soon as possible after announcing the signing of Leeds winger Raphinha – as well as No 1 target Robert Lewandowski.
Raphinha was officially unveiled as a Barcelona player at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper
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