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Barcelona presidential election postponed due to COVID-19

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Barcelona’s presidential election has been postponed due to COVID-19, the club confirmed.

The election was due to take place on January 24, but the Catalan government has confirmed to club officials that no exceptions will be made to allow members of the club’s hierarchy to vote.

The delay means the club will end the January transfer window without a president, which means any income is highly unlikely. It also means that Lionel Messi’s future will continue to be on the line as he enters the final five months of his contract.

Although a new date has not yet been set, the club have announced that they will consider who can vote by mail.

An official statement from the club said: “For its part, the club understood the impossibility of holding elections on the scheduled date due to mobility restrictions decreed by the Catalan government in the current context of the pandemic, which is why the date of the elections must be delayed.

“In this sense, the club has asked the Catalan government to assess the possibility of modifying the current sports legislation to allow postal voting on the new date of the elections, a request that the government has undertaken to study.”

(Left to right) Barcelona President Joan Lapo
Joan Laporta was president of Barcelona between 2003-2010 and hired Pep Guardiola as boss | AFP / Getty Images

The election is up to the final three candidates with Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa seeking to succeed Josep Bartomeu, who resigned in October 2020. Laporta and Font are seen as the favorites, both promising to prioritize the contract of Messi.

Laporta was club president between 2003 and 2010 and was responsible for the club’s appointment of Pep Guardiola as manager. Font is keen to recreate something similar, making his relationship with legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez clear as he checked him out as a potential future manager.

With Barcelona struggling on the pitch for most of 2020, fans are hopeful that a new president will start a new chapter of success at the club.