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Pique to move FC Andorra after stadium row

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Pique to move FC Andorra after stadium row

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FC Andorra president Gerard Pique said he has been left with no choice but to leave the country and change the club’s name due to a dispute over where they will play their home games next season.

Andorra, who play in the Spanish second division, use the 3,306-capacity Estadi Nacional, but the agreement to play there expires next year and the local government have said it will not be renewed.

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“We have invested more than €4 million in the Estadi Nacional for [the Spanish league] to let us play there and now you are kicking us out,” Pique posted on social media on Saturday.

“There are no sporting facilities in Andorra in condition for us to use next season. Thanks for kicking us out of the country.

“We have been left with no solution but to leave and change the name of the club. Congratulations, you have left Andorra without a professional football team.”

Pique’s comments were a direct response to Alain Cabanes, the secretary of sport in Andorra, who confirmed the football club owned by the former Barcelona defender would have to find a new home.

“FC Andorra will have to look for a new pitch because the Estadi Nacional, by changing the grass, will not be suitable for the conditions required by LaLiga,” Cabanes said.

“When the season ends in June 2024, we will start to change the pitch so that it is a much more versatile stadium and can be used by many more sports.

“We will help them find somewhere else to play, but it will not be at the Estadi Nacional.”

Andorra is an independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains.

FC Andorra are the only professional football club in the country and have been part of the Spanish pyramid since the 1960s, competing in regional divisions until Pique’s takeover.

Pique acquired the club in 2018 through his company Kosmos Holding while he was still playing for Barça. He has since overseen the club’s rise into the Segunda Division, one promotion away from LaLiga.

Coached by Eder Sarabia, Quique Setien’s former assistant at Barça, Andorra are 15th in the table with 10 points from their opening nine games.

In addition to his involvement with Andorra, Pique is also the president of the Kings League, a seven-a-side football competition streamed on Twitch and launched in Barcelona after his retirement as a player in 2023.

Until recently, through Kosmos, he was also involved in the organising of the tennis tournament the Davis Cup, although that agreement ended prematurely.



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