Fans were angered after the Spanish team separated its mens and womens teams on a flight to their first joint international tour. But one player said the situtation was blown out of proportion.
Internationally renowned soccer team FC Barcelona caused a storm on social media on Thursday after it emerged that ahead of their current international tour — the first to feature the men's and women's team together — the women flew in economy, while the men were treated to business class.
The shock was compounded by the fact that the team first had male and female players pose together for a photo op in business class. But it was clear from the women's social media accounts that they flew in the cheap seats.
As fans of the women's team also pointed out, the men were mostly from FC Barcelona's B squad, as the biggest super stars were still resting after the end of the World Cup in Russia.
Speaking with Mundo Deportivo, a Spanish sports daily, three-time league winner Alexia Putellas said that the women's team had been added to the tour "at the last minute" after the team had booked seats for the men.
The midfielder added that the situation had been exaggerated. She said that it was a vast improvement from only a few years ago, when they would have to travel long distance in Europe on a bus rather than fly. She praised Barcelona as a "pioneer" in supporting women's football.
In order to ward off possible awkwardness, FC Barcelona wrote on Twitter that both the men and women were training at the same facilities in Portland, Oregon, and posted a video putting the two teams side by side:
Mundo Deportivo has also reported that both teams will travel business class back home at the end of the tour.