Virus forces Barca to cancel friendly in U.S.

Barcelona have announced that their friendly against Juventus, which was due to take place in California on Saturday, has been cancelled after several of their players became unwell.

The fixture at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, was the first of four matches that Barcelona have scheduled on their preseason tour of the United States.

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“FC Barcelona hereby informs that the game against Juventus FC, scheduled for today, July 22 at 7:30 p.m at Levi’s Stadium, as part of the Soccer Champions Tour, has been canceled. A significant part of the blaugrana squad has a viral gastroenteritis,” the club said in a statement on Saturday.

Sources have told ESPN that 14 players in the Barca camp are suffering from illness and were unable to take part in the match against the Italian club.

The Spanish champions said all fans would be refunded and an insurance payment protects them against having to pay any penalty for dropping out of the fixture.

Despite the virus impacting the squad, Barcelona voiced confidence that their next scheduled game, against Arsenal on Wednesday, would go ahead.

“FC Barcelona would like to encourage its fans to attend and enjoy the game we are going to play this Wednesday against Arsenal at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles,” the club said. “Both teams are in close contact and we both have the utmost confidence that our game will go on as planned.”

Barca signed midfielder Oriol Romeu from Girona, the club announced on Wednesday, in a deal that sees midfielder Pablo Torre, 20, move in the other direction on a season-long loan.

Information from ESPN’s Sam Marsden was used in this report.

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