FC Barcelona

Xavi blames 'miscalculation' as 25,000 Frankfurt fans watch Barcelona crash out of Europa League

Tom Gott
Xavi was bitterly disappointed with Barcelona's exit
Xavi was bitterly disappointed with Barcelona's exit / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barcelona manager Xavi has revealed that an investigation will be held into why so many travelling Frankfurt fans were allowed into Camp Nou on Thursday for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 Frankfurt fans managed to get tickets for the game after a significant number of season ticket holders and corporate sponsors chose to give up their seats for the match.

Their impact would only be strengthened by protests from some of the Barcelona supporters, who left the stadium ten minutes in to show their frustration towards so many Frankfurt fans being allowed to buy tickets.

Barcelona would go on to lose the game 3-2, with both their goals coming in second-half stoppage time, and Xavi blamed the huge German following for the result.

"Obviously that didn't help us," he said. "We expected 70,000 or 80,000 Catalans, but it looked more like a final with a split crowd.

"It was a miscalculation of ours, yes. The club is checking what happened."

Cadena SER note that Barcelona are likely to face disciplinary action from UEFA for allowing so many away fans to enter Camp Nou. While there were no significant issues in the stands, the risk level of allowing so many travelling supporters in is enormous and European officials are unlikely to take kindly to that.

It was a sore subject after the game, with a number of those connected to Barcelona speaking out to voice their disappointment.

"I was very surprised that there were so many of them," defender Ronald Araujo said. "The club will have to see how it was possible that there were so many rival fans."

Director Jordi Cruyff added: "I was surprised by the crowd. It didn't even feel like a home game. It happened, I don't know if it influenced the result. The appropriate person must answer questions on this."