Barcelona Vs Juventus Pre-season Friendly Called Off Hours Before Kickoff Due to Deadly Viral Infection

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Barcelona Vs Juventus preseason friendly has been called off hours before the kick off due to a deadly viral infection.

The match which was expected to be a high-profile preseason clash between the two European giants would have seen the likes of former Manchester City midfielder and treble-winner IIkay Gundogan make his debut for the club.

After withdrawing from all European competitions at the instance of their new chairman Gianluca Ferrero, the match which was expected to kickoff by 03:30GMT, would have seen the Serie A giants test their strengths against the La Liga champions.

According to reports from Barcelona team camp, the match had to be called off due to a deadly virus which struck the camp on Saturday.

New signing from Manchester City IIkay Gundogan was expected to make his debut for Barcelona in the cancelled friendly

So many Barcelona players have been reportedly affected by the virus including members of the coaching crew.

According to Sport, about 15 Barcelona players have been confirmed to have contracted the virus making it an impossibility to go ahead with the match.

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Some of the players listed among those affected by the virus are Alejandro Balde, Jules Kounde, Oriol Romeo and Eric Garcia.

Some unidentified members of the team’s coaching crew have also been affected but it has been confirmed Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is not affected.

Barcelona confirmed the cancellation of the scheduled match in a club statement.

Jules Kounde named among 15 Barcelona players affected

They also identified the nature of the virus that has ravaged the squad while offering no clues on a possible rescheduling of the fixture.

“Barcelona hereby informs that the game against Juventus, scheduled for today, July 22 at 7:30pm at Levi’s Stadium, as part of the Soccer Champions Tour, has been cancelled. A significant part of the Blaugrana squad has viral gastroenteritis,” Barcelona statement reads.

Gastroenteritis is a bacterial infection which causes fluctuations in basic body mechanisms such as excretion and blood circulation.

Common symptoms identified with the disease is diarrhoea and frequent vomiting. While the stage of the infection on the affected players is yet to be ascertained, it is understood the Juventus Vs Barcelona fixture will not be honored but whether the club will still go ahead with the Soccer Champions tour is unknown.

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It has been revealed the club did not even travel to match venue hours before the kickoff while Juventus promised to arrive the venue an hour before the kickoff.

Meanwhile, other team joining the nine days soccer tour have gone ahead with their matches. Manchester United defeated Arsenal 2-0 while AC Milan will be expected to tackle Real Madrid today, July 23.

Barcelona were expected to face Arsenal after the cancelled game against Juventus. It is still unclear whether they will continue with the tour or withdraw totally from the tournament.

A total withdrawal will twist the club’s preseason plans. A bulk of key fixtures against local rivals Real Madrid, Arsenal, AC Milan, and Manchester United were lined-up for the club as they prepare to defend the La Liga title next season.

It is believed a timely recovery from the infection will see the club return to the tournament as they sharpen up the squad before 2023/24 La Liga kickoff.

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