El Clásico in Mecca?

Spanish sports newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid and Barcelona will play a friendly match in the holy city of Mecca in 2016 as part of the opening ceremony for the new high-speed train line that will be built by a Spanish consortium in western Saudi Arabia. Some people were surprised because they said non-Muslims are forbidden from entering Mecca. This is not accurate. Only the haram area of Mecca is off limits to non-Muslims. The main stadium in Mecca, King Abdulaziz Sports City, is located outside that area and it is regularly used for the Saudi Professional League where many non-Muslim footballers are recruited by Saudi teams. So in theory the a Real Madrid-Barcelona friendly can be played there. However, it is more likely that, if the report about the friendly is accurate, the game would be played in King Abdullah Sports City which is still under construction in the city of Jeddah nearby, the capital of Mecca Province.

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