An FC Barcelona delegation headed by Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu travelled to Melilla on March 10 for XII Congress of Supporters of Andalusia, Ceuta and Melilla, held there over that weekend. Bartomeu was accompanied by the Club's Supporters Clubs Director, Pau Vilanova; the President of the Confederation of Supporters Clubs, Antoni Guil; Sports Commission member, Antonio Castillo; and others, like former players Juan Manuel Asensi, Ricardo Serna and Mohammed Nayim, all members of the Barça Players Association.
In the afternoon, Bartomeu and the rest of the Club's representatives of the Club were greeted at the 'Salón Dorado' in the Palacio de la Asamblea by Juan Jose Imbroda, the President of the Autonomous City of Melilla, and other local authorities. Bartomeu spoke to those present at the reception before unveiling a commemorative plaque at the headquarters of Melilla Supporters Club. He then attended the gala dinner on the occasion of the XII Supporters Clubs Andalucía, Ceuta and Melilla Congress, held at the Royal Yacht Club of Melilla.
President Bartomeu, who is the first FC Barcelona president to visit Melilla, returned to Barcelona on Saturday for the La Liga match against Getafe at Camp Nou. Director Pau Vilanova was in charge of representing the Club at the Congress, and also participated in a discussion about the Barça's current events along with the former blaugrana players who made the trip, Asensi, Serna and Nayim.
The Congress of Supporters Clubs of Andalucía, Ceuta and Melilla was the second to be held since the Federation was set up in this zone. The event takes place every two years, with the last edition being held in Malaga in 2014.
Statements from Josep Maria Bartomeu:
"It's quite an honour to come to this city and to this Congress. We are very pleased that the people of Melilla follow our team, a Barça that goes beyond borders. This is the first time that an FC Barcelona president has visited Melilla, a fact made possible thanks to the efforts of Tomás Martínez, president of the zone's Supporters Club Federation, and Francisco Javier Martínez, president of the Supporters Club of Melilla, which helped bring it to Melilla, where it was a smash hit. We would like to thank you for the warm welcome we received and for being able to be in this room, which is a fine example of modernist architecture."