Barcelona vice-president explains reasons for Supercopa Catalunya cancellation

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended the club's decision not to field their first team against rivals Espanyol in the Supercopa Catalunya, which led to the trophy's cancellation.

The Catalan giants were due to feature on July 31 but were not due to select their stars amid a congested fixture list and a risk of injury, after Marc Muniesa suffered a setback in the friendly against Hamburg.

With the new La Liga season three weeks away, and with friendlies against Raja Club Athletic, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United still to come, the club have decided not to over-exert their players.

"It was due to the busy schedule of our first team matches and the unavailability of international players [at the Olympic Games] and above all, the risk of injury, as has happened with Muniesa," Bartomeu told Barca TV.

"We prefer to communicate this in advance to avoid the possible disappointment of some fans."

Barcelona had initially offered to field a 'B' team for the July 31 friendly, which was later cancelled. Espanyol's Joan Collet had earlier lambasted the Blaugrana's decision to drop out, labelling them as 'disrespectful'.

Tito Vilanova's men kick off against Raja Club Atheltic on Saturday at 20:00CET.

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