'You will be robbed!' - Barcelona-bound Irish soccer fans warned

People travelling to the city have been told to attempt to avoid a crime wave, which is specifically targeting tourists.

Thousands of Irish soccer fans are set to travel to Barcelona for the upcoming qualifier.
Thousands of Irish soccer fans are set to travel to Barcelona for the upcoming qualifier.

IRISH SOCCER FANS travelling to Barcelona for the team’s upcoming Euro 2012 qualifier against Andorra have been warned that they are set to be targeted by Spanish criminals.

A recently established website (, has published an open letter to all Irish soccer fans set to travel to the city, under the heading: “Welcome to Barcelona. You will be Robbed!”

The group was established by ex-pats who are fed up with being targets of the recent crime wave in the city and by the Spanish government’s lack of action.

Local gangs have now become involved in the lucrative pickpocketing scheme, which specifically targets tourists.

While the venue for the game has recently been switched from Barcelona to Andorra despite protests from the FAI and their Andorran counterparts, thousands of Irish fans are set to make Barcelona their base for the game anyway.

A spokesperson for the organisation, speaking under the pseudonym Rob Daly, expressed concern about the significant number of people who have been robbed and explained:

“The locals don’t take it seriously because the targets are mainly tourists so it doesn’t affect them directly.”

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

The website also includes information about the various ways in which tourists’ possessions can be stolen, including ‘The Ronaldinho’ – a method whereby the robber pretends to tackle the tourist football-style and steals his wallet while doing so.

For more information, visit>

Read: Adel Taarabt did a runner at half time rather than watch QPR get hammered>

Read: Spurs’ win overshadowed by Adebayor, Wenger abuse>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

Read next: