• Iceland volcano could cause travel problems for fans
• Uefa says there is no chance of final being postponed
Barcelona's preparations for the Champions League final on Saturday have been disrupted by the Icelandic ash cloud. The players were due to fly to Britain on Tuesday, having originally planned to travel on Thursday, while supporters' travel plans are in the balance – the Meteorological Office says there is "uncertainty" over how severe the problems may be.
The Catalan club said that, while they are still confident that all supporters will be able to fly, if this does prove impossible, then they can take a 20-hour coach ride on Friday that leaves Spain at 9am and will cost €190. Around 25,000 Barça fans are due to travel to London but Uefa said that, despite the potential problems, the game cannot be postponed and that it is powerless to help.
David Taylor, general secretary of Uefa, said: "There's only so much that Uefa can do – we're in the hands of the elements, we have to ensure the teams and the officials are there and we have set in motion contingency plans for this. Michel Platini [and I were] in Morocco and [we flew] out early just to be sure we can get to the game.
"It [the ash cloud] is supposed to be better on Friday. Whatever happens on the day happens on the day." On the question of whether tickets could be resold to prevent Wembley being partially empty he said: "You can't sell tickets twice, so we couldn't get involved in that. Of course we've been here before with the ash cloud [last year] and we have contingency plans in place for the teams and officials."
Despite Taylor's optimistic outlook the Met Office maps that chart the predicted progress of the ash from the Grimsvotn volcano suggest that its greatest concentration over the UK will be at around midday on Friday.
A Met Office spokesperson said: "There is a lot of uncertainty through the week as the weather is changeable and the wind direction is variable. But [the] good news might be there is a not a persistent north-westerly like there was last year [when an ash cloud disrupted air travel throughout Europe]. It's very fluid and dynamic, so [the advice is] to keep a frequent check as the charts come out every six hours."
Barcelona will stay in the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire. Despite the acrimonious circumstances of Arsenal's elimination by Pep Guardiola's team in the first knockout stage of the competition – Robin van Persie was controversially sent off for kicking the ball away in the second leg at the Camp Nou – Barcelona will train at the Gunners' London Colney complex on Wednesday and Thursday. Each session will take place behind closed doors before they train at Wembley on Friday morning in front of the media.
Manchester United will prepare at Fulham on Friday morning behind closed doors and fulfil their stipulated media session later that afternoon at Wembley.