Xavi left behind as Barcelona squad head to United States

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Xavi was unable to travel to the United States with Barcelona on Saturday as red tape prevented the Spanish coach making the trip.

Widespread reports in Spain said the 42-year-old had been refused the right to enter the US alongside his players because of previous visits to Iran.

Xavi visited the country on AFC Champions League duty during his time with Qatari club Al Sadd, and Mundo Deportivo reported he was not immediately given permission to enter the US as a result.

The United States and Iran have no formal diplomatic relations, and those who have been to Iran may not be immediately eligible to travel to America.

Xavi is expected to be granted permission to travel early next week, reports said.

Barcelona confirmed their 28-player squad left El Prat airport at 14:30 local time on Saturday (13:30 BST), heading for Miami.

They are due to return on July 31 after pre-season games against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls.

Officials including club president Joan Laporta also made the trip, but Barcelona said in a statement: "Coach Xavi Hernandez will not be taking today's flight for administrative reasons associated to his passport reasons.

"He is expected to join the rest of the squad in Miami in the next few days."

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