Sandro Rosell has explained the decision to drop free entry to the Camp Nou for under sevens is borne out of safety measures, rather than personal preference.
Barcelona yesterday released a communication determining that against their usual policy of allowing children up to the age of seven free entry into home games, everyone will need a ticket for Week 10’s Clasico at home to Real Madrid.
The club’s statement on the matter also indicated that future home games will also see the traditional policy scrapped.
Explaining the reasoning and timing behind the decision, the Catalans’ President indicated that safety was the prime motivation and that, in fact, he is disappointed at a personal level.
“I am the first to be against this decision but the point of view of responsibility, this is our obligation,” responded Rosell to Catalunya Radio this week.
“No child under the age of seven can understand the measure. If I was a seven-year-old boy, I would not agree with the club.
“I had gone to the Camp Nou with my father when I was seven. It is a tradition that has been there a lifetime.
“In all big European clubs, no-one can enter the stadium without a ticket because they are marked by law for seating capacity.
“To enter any show it is necessary to have a ticket. This is the case in Madrid, in Bilbao…and in all stadiums in England and Germany.
“Why now then? It is one of those regulations that exist, you know they are there but you do not want to know. It is one of those things that we have known as being in the drawer but that we have so far not looked at.
“Luckily nothing has happened so far. I would not have ever been forgiven. We have studied this a lot and discussed it a lot.
“We have taken many turns but in the end all prefer a headline saying ‘Rosell denies entry to a child’ over one saying ‘Rosell has killed a child’.
“It is the responsibility that we have to assume and we will assume it. We will study alternatives, but it is clear that in games of high risk, we have no choice.
“We have always argued for games to be scheduled for the family. But understand that there is a real risk of over-capacity.”