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FC Barcelona confirmed for historic appearance at Sydney’s Accor Stadium next month

FC Barcelona confirmed for historic appearance at Sydney’s Accor Stadium next month
April 7, 2022

The 26-time Spanish champions and five-time UEFA Champions League winners FC Barcelona will be coming to Sydney to play an exclusive match against the A-Leagues All Stars at Accor Stadium on Wednesday 25th May.

One of the most successful clubs in international football, the La Liga giants have never previously visited Australian in their 123-year history.

Backed by Destination NSW and Venues NSW on behalf of the NSW Government, FC Barcelona’s visit, taking place at the end of their European season, the match will kick off a busy period of events in Sydney, with ‘Barca In Sydney’ being staged 48 hours before the Vivid Sydney festival begins.

The match will also be an entree to the A-League Men’s Grand Final on the weekend of 28th and 29th May and in the same week as football’s prestigious Dolan Warren Awards.

NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government was proud to secure this major event, commenting “the FC Barcelona v A-Leagues All Stars match will generate significant international interest and put Australian football back in the international spotlight. It’s an incredible opportunity to showcase both our domestic professional A-Leagues and our beautiful Harbour City to the world

“Hosting this sporting star power in Sydney will highlight the city’s attractions and world-class events calendar to football fans around the globe, turbocharging the NSW visitor economy on its road to recovery.”

FC Barcelona Vice-President - Marketing, Juli Guiu added "we are very happy to be able to announce this match in Australia today against the A-Leagues All Stars. This will be the first time the team visits this country, where Barça are generating great interest.

“Being able to play this match will give us the opportunity to bring the Club and its values closer to our fans and will also give us the opportunity for new audiences to get to know FC Barcelona and all that it represents, which has made it a reference entity on and off the pitch.”

FC Barcelona’s opponents, the A-Leagues All Stars return after an eight-year hiatus, bringing together a team of A-League Men’s players.

While the match expected to attract a large crowd at the 80,000-seat Accor Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, FC Barcelona are used to playing in front of massive crowds.

 

Their home ground at the Camp Nou, Europe’s largest club stadium, has a capacity of 99,354 and the venue attracted a world record women’s football crowd at the end of March when 91,553 fans attended the UEFA Women’s Champions League game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Rangers pull out of Celtic friendly in Sydney
Meanwhile, Scottish Premier League giants Rangers have withdrawn from their visit to Sydney, ending off the prospect of Accor Stadium hosting the first-ever Old Firm match played outside of Scotland.

Rangers last week withdrew from the four-team Sydney Super Cup tournament where they were due to face rivals their Glasgow rivals and also take on Western Sydney Wanderers, with Celtic playing Sydney FC in the four-team tournament.

Announced in early March, the match had been billed as a special homecoming for Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, which upset Rangers fans who had protested against the fixture.

However, in withdrawing Rangers blamed TEG and Left Field Live, the co-promoters of the event, for being unwilling to fulfil their commitments.

In a statement, TEG and Left Field Live responded by saying “the Rangers Board committed to these matches following extensive negotiations over eight months. Seemingly in response to negative fan reaction, they have pulled out of their contracted commitment.

“We have worked closely with all stakeholders to bring this exciting event to Sydney, and we refute any suggestion that we were unwilling to fulfill our commitments to Rangers. We have acted in good faith and have put the event on sale with a great response from fans here.

“In changing their minds, the Rangers Board has let down many, many fans in Australia and the Asian region. We will now consult with our stakeholders before determining our response.”

The end of Europe’s football season will also see Manchester United will visit Australia for a fourth time when they play two matches at the MCG in July.

Images: Fans of Barcelona FC (top, credit: Shutterstock) and football at Accor Stadium (below).

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