FC Barcelona’s first mixed-sex tour took a sour turn among the fans of the women’s team when news emerged that they travelled in economy class, while the men’s team was allotted business seats. The club had released a promotional video of the teams boarding a plane bound for the US. However, following the on-board photo op, the women were nowhere to be seen.
The FC Barcelona Tour to the USA is underway! Flight IB2881 just took off from Barcelona el Prat Airport, heading for Portland. pic.twitter.com/Ek7qvhZG5X— Barça Women (@BarcaWomen) July 24, 2018
Photos shared from the social media accounts of the women’s team showed them flying in economy class. Fans noticed the difference soon enough and questioned why the men’s team got preferential treatment over the women. Notably, some of the male players were not from the club’s A team.
There was a team captains' photo in Business Class, before the men assumed their Business Class seats & the women returned to their Economy Seats. pic.twitter.com/i96VtPIupD— Barça Women (@BarcaWomen) July 24, 2018
However, the club responded by saying that a lack of space in the business class resulted in the women’s team being in the economy class. Alexia Putellas, a member of the women’s team, defended the club saying she and her team were not disappointed, as the decision to include women in the tour was taken later.
Yeah - the men's team is mostly players from the Barça B men's team, but the senior women's team gets Economy! pic.twitter.com/moy1x6tt1o— Barça Women (@BarcaWomen) July 24, 2018
"The reason we traveled like that is because the decision for us to take part on the tour was made later," she told Mundo Deportivo. "We know that the first team organises with a lot of pre-planning and we didn't know anything about pre-season. Everything was arranged and the club made its best effort to organise at the last minute,” she added.